There has been a surge in long term arrivals coming to this country in the year to April

There has been a surge in long term arrivals coming to this country in the year to April

Statistics NZ estimates that there was a net population gain of 55,834 people from migration in the 12 months to the end of April this year.

That is heading back up towards the April year peak of 62,508 in 2016, after dropping back to 60,094 in the year to April 2017 and 50,163 in the year to April 2018.

The strong net gain was the result of a surge in people arriving in this country long term while the numbers leaving long term grew less quickly.

In the 12 months to April there were 150,974 long term arrivals, which was up 6.8% compared to the previous 12 months, while 95,141 people departed long term, up 4.3% on the previous 12 months. 

Of the 150,974 long term arrivals, the biggest group (44,547) were Australian and NZ citizens, up 3.2% compared to the previous 12 months.

That was followed by 32,438 people on work visas, up 7.0% on the previous year, 31,641 on on visitor visas (+18.9%), 27,001 on student visas +7.6% and 13,929 on residency visas, down 7.1% on the previous 12 months.

The biggest source country for new long term arrivals in the year to April was Australia with 25,507, up 2.4% on the previous 12 months, followed by China 15,650 (+10.9%), India 11,539 (-11.3%), the UK 9267 (-23.4%), South Africa 7702 (+27.9%),The Philippines 5907 (-21.4%) and the US 5244 (13.3%).

There was net loss of 10,168 New Zealand citizens in the 12 months to April, with 35,923 arriving back in this country after an extended stay overseas, while 46,091 departed long term.

That was more than made up for by the 115,051 non-New Zealand citizens that arrived long term, while 49,050 departed long term, giving a net gain 66,001 non-New Zealand citizens.

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More broken election promises: Labour, "20-30000 reduction". NZF "10000 per year total".

Labour never gave specific number targets.


In total, these changes are estimated to reduce net migration by 20,000-30,000. Without these changes there would be up to 10,000 more houses needed and up to 20,000 more vehicles on our roads annually. Our immigration system will be regularly reviewed to ensure it is functioning well.

There's also a table in the link below with specific details as to what type of visas will the estimated reduction will come from.

So have they made the specific policy changes?


What? They campaigned on this?
It's still marketed on their website.

Are you saying they somehow have an excuse because it's not policy yet?

There even needs to be a policy change? I would have thought it'd be a simple case of "INZ, we've got enough people now, stop approving".

What a silly comment.

They have had it on their website since before the election. Kudos on them for not removing it.

But are you saying that putting this on their website is not 'policy' so doesn't count or something?


Really poor.
I never received responses from either Labour or Winnie, after I wrote to them 2 month ago.
Probably too embarrassed.


I voted Labour for this specific reason. This many people arriving year after year is completely nuts. Sadly, they have really dropped the ball here and they've done NOTHING!

Not sure if Labour can/should be given the credit, but the numbers being granted residency are down (from 52,000 ppl in 2015/16 to a projected 38,250ppl in the 2018/19 year)

All the others have to leave eventually, except returning Kiwis, Aussies (and Singaporeans?)

Election promises are made to be broken. How old are you, 12?


It's obvious that both sides of our political spectrum have conceded that our economy can't function without neoliberal mass migration. It turns out we have "endless" skill shortages in this country and they tend to grow as the population grows further.
We can't even expect someone to firmly target our migration programme to only relieving genuine skill shortages. Let's keep adding numbers to our expanding underclass of low wage workers because that is certainly the road to long-term well-being (Labour) and economic success (Nats).


'It's obvious that both sides of our political spectrum has conceded that our economy can't function without neoliberal mass migration.'

You nailed it.

Quite possibly, we'll see a lift in Auckland's housing market activity before too long......

Low interest rates and low unemployment in particular - amidst the current demographic trends - provide some reasonable rationale.



Auckland prices were basically flat in 2016 when migration was much higher than now - I wouldn't bet the house on this being the stimulus to another leg up.

Looking at the break-down, the rise is fueled mostly by visitors, students and work visas - the residency visas which might be best associated with house buying have actually fallen.


Yes the other by product of high immigration is wage suppression, with more people you have less pressure on the job market and therefore employers to increase wages especially in the larger cities. We're already a low wage economy, So I don't see how the RE's can expect that higher immigration will bring more money to NZ?

but at least you dont have to wait long for your Uber

Seems the economic masterplan is to keep New Zealanders on low incomes. Why are we doing that? What am I missing?

So these people will be living in tents then.
50,000 immigrants are going to create a demand for housing - whether it is buying or renting. My understanding is that when there is a shortage demand exceeds supply - the additional demand not being currently met by supply so is going to create competition and either rents are likely to increase significantly and/or house prices.
Bottom line these figures put upward pressure on housing - rental and/or homeownership.

Supply has been increasing, Auckland consents running about 20% higher than in 2016 when migration was higher and prices started flatlining.

My simple point is, migration has been high for three years without prompting Auckland price rises, so there is no reason to think the new figures confirming migration is still high are suddenly going to spark something. Not disagreeing higher migration is an upward pressure, but that does not necessarily translate to higher prices, certainly in the short term.

Don't let logic get in the way of spruiking....

Indeed we’ll see a lift in Aucklands housing market activity in the under 1mil bracket.

Having just has a quick look at Barfoots sales at last Wednesday mornings auction which covers the Eastern suburbs in Auckland the only 2 houses that sold in my area were in the $600k bracket. The third property sale related to a house well outside of this area.

There is already a lot of activity. A lot of auctions. A lot of unsold properties. A lot of high expectations. And a LOT of private debt. Are you not entertained?

How is mass migration a "neoliberal"(?) concept?

Is the UN Migration Compact "neoliberal"?
"Core to the UN's vision was the view that migration was integral to human experience throughout history, a source of "prosperity, innovation and sustainable development in our globalised world"."

Are the Greens "neoliberal" now too?

It's not 'sustainable development'

That's nonsense, whether touchy-feely or neolib doesn't matter.

It can be considered neo-liberal or leftist.
Neo liberal in the sense that neo liberalism buys into globalisation and the free exchange and movement of goods, money and people.
Leftist in the sense of embracing diversity.

What it is, is catering to people's (outdated) expectations of "growth". What the pollies haven't caught up with, is that more and more people realise that this cannot continue forever and many even think we have to go in exact opposite direction for a while. We might need a few more of us to sheet this home, though we do not have forever to wait.

Not sure if causation or just correlation, but I see a link. Don't trust Stats NZ though.

(may need to copy&paste link into browser to open)

Yes, these graphs have always looked like this. I noticed this at least 15 years ago.

Like you say, correlation doesn't mean causation, but pretty fishy right?

Plenty of people who argue these 2 things are not related at all and it's more down to things like credit availability etc.

Common cause could easily be a strong economy - generally attracts migrants and raises house prices. I'm not sure how you'd go about picking the three factors (let alone the others we aren't thinking about) apart.

TTP, I agree with you for once, about trust. They are stated as fact, but how sure are we of the numbers?

Yes, I've not got any faith in these numbers at all. It's a shame - just a few years ago I had lots of confidence in Stats NZ. BLSH, not TTP.

Sorry, typo, and I get you two mixed up sometimes. Quite similar opinions of the outlook.

I can tell you that I lack confidence in a number of Statistics New Zealand's data series - including the migration data.

The 2018 Census is such a mess, it will be a long time before I'll trust SNZ to do a good job again.

Heads need to roll in SNZ.



Would be helpfull to see the Governments immigration plan one day… Do they wonder why essential tax funded services - Education, Hospitals, Housing etc. are protesting as this Countries flooded by immigrants who’ve contributed little or nothing. Unemployment is much higher than reported due to the new settings e.g. Gig economy, one may work a few hours a week earning $14K/pa and still be counted as employed; businesses lobbying for low skilled people who’ll work for less than living wage to get access to the free bees and Aderns good look policies to build her profile by granting 1000s of Refugees that this country can not afford compounding the problems even further. Importing people doesn't grow the economy but adds cost, locals have been served a bad deal.


The government is brilliant at talking wishy washy garbage but awful at delivering meaningful actions. All style, no substance (other than the FBB).

Aren’t they all - It’s the same the world over


Yeah although the last govt delivered quite a lot, even if I didn't agree with it all

would explain the higher than expected building completion rate last quarter... signs of more construction workers coming in, exactly what we need... slowdown in china and aussie construction industries would play a big role...


Yes all the immigrants are construction workers.

Actually I lie, the rest are scientists, IT workers, teachers and doctors.

Not a single barista, baker or cafe manager amongst them.

They're all either going to set up a hugely successful business and pay lots and lots of tax, or be employed and earning like $150k and paying lots of tax and being really productive. Not.

Yeah, plenty of hi-tech companies, which make up the bulk of our economic output, are lining up to hire talented IT workers and scientists. Who'd rather go live in the UK or the US when similar career opportunities and pay rates can be secured in NZ with ease?

We have more than enough infrastructural capacity in NZ to accommodate exceptionally talented migrants and our investment ecosystem is ripe for high-value businesses to be headquartered down here. No hi-tech company built here has ever left us!

NZ Hi-Tech pay similar pay rates to UK or US? Please show me some recent contracts you've seen where software developers with 5+ years experience are getting NZ$300K per year...

Read the thread carefully; we call it sarcasm!
Side note: I don't know a whole lot about tech but people are paid that kind of money only if they generate IP for companies involved in highly complex environments.

How did i miss that sarc, lol

Those rates are pretty standard in either UK banking or US Silicon Valley i believe

Here's 430 IT job openings paying 650quid or above:
If that search result has expired just do a job search and deselect everything below 80 quid an hour

If you allow 6 weeks annual leave (the norm in those suffering EU citizens) and 2 weeks sick leave that 154K /year or NZ$298K

Here's one, just a bog standard python skillset, if your good at your game shouldn't be a problem to land. Not rocket scientists developing IP.

Python Developer - SQL, REST API - 12 month contract

Senior Python Developer with strong skills in Python, SQL and Rest API's is required to help develop low-latency, high availability applications involving data analytics and operational intelligence within Investment bank. Acting as a Python subject matter expert/Technical advocate, you will apply Best Practice for Python to the development process.

Essential Skills:

Expert in Python web development with experience of large scale web applications and in RESTful Server Development
Knowledge of user authentication and authorization between multiple systems, Servers, and environments
Experience of writing Python tests using automated tasks, and enforcing code quality eg pytest, pylint, unittest

Preferred Skills

Proficiency with SDLC tools (eg Confluence, JIRA, BitBucket, SourceTree)
Java development experience along with knowledge of JavaScript React/Redux frameworks
Data Analytics/Machine learning
Strong SQL
NoSQL database development (eg MongoDB, Cassandra, Zen, Elastic stack)
Familiarity with Cloud (AWS, Azure, Google, etc), Splunk, SaaS applications, etc

Fantastic opportunity to work on work on leading-edge application within Investment banking and gain exposure to different technologies.

Experience within Banking is NOT essential.

100% sarc

Well we've got tonnes of high skilled immigrants working for Chorus doing such a wonderful job.....not


If you want to reduce the amount of immigrants on work visa's and also reduce the amount of 'Skilled people' leaving NZ. You simply need to introduce what other Western countries have and that is a "Minimum salary requirement for Work Visas". This helps prevent wage suppression which also helps our economy.
Here's an example for the UK: For a Tier 2 Work Visa - The absolute minimum salary rate for new entrants under the Tier 2 (General) for experienced workers must be paid a salary of at least £30,000 (Around $60,000 NZD).

As a matter of fact, there are minimum salary thresholds on essential skills visa but these are currently set at $21.5 (85% of the median wage in NZ and 22% higher than minimum wage). Isn't it obvious that someone making less than an average NZer does not possess an essential skill set?
At these pay rates, I bet a sheer majority of these "skilled" people would be stocking shelves or working in a kitchen somewhere instead of working at construction sites as the government wants us to believe.


Havent you seen all the articles on immigration scams? One of the most popular (both here and in Australia) is where you pay the employee the minimum salary requirement for their visa, then the worker promptly pays half of it back to the employer in cash. Not only does it have the effect of allowing the employer to pay illegal wages, it has the bonus of defrauding the IRD as well as the business is then usually "losing" money, although the owner has a nice sideline in cash for visa jobs going.

Much easier to scam low paid workers.
For an example of how immigration should work my wife's stepson was an experienced high ranking electrical engineer in a 3rd world country. After the Christchurch earthquake we needed experienced design engineers so he was recruited and I think he was paid a little over $70k five years ago. If he had been a Kiwi my guess is he would have been offered well over $100k. He works for an engineering consultancy, loves the work and I believe he is now being paid far more. Therefore despite having a couple of kids he is paying more in tax than his family costs (education, health, etc).
So like other commentators - please enforce a high salary limit. It should be easy to check by comparing visa with IRD return. That would also identify some of the criminals - we had a couple who were prosecuted for importing drugs - they were 'skilled' residents who had made no tax return for nine years.

We need the existing salary requirement to be $70,000 at least. More importantly, enforced


I might be wrong, but I think our trade deal with China has a clause about letting their folk migrate here? It's a soft option on how to take over a small democracy.

But surely it's still conditional on meeting certain immigration requirements. I would be surprised - ni shocked and angry - if it wasn't. If someone was able to clarify.

But surely any such trade deal would be reciprocal. Kiwis permitted to buy freehold property in China. Our spy in their parliament.

I think you might be in for a treat when you find out who owns all the property in communist countries.

I just looked at the FTA and it looks like it streamlines temporary visas, but not permanent residence


Just another broken promise. These are dime a dozen from politicians - central & local. Let's dismantle this democracy & start again. It can't be any worse, can it?


When NZ exports its citizens to other countries, and replaces them with twice as many people from the third world, how long does it take until New Zealand becomes a third world country?

NZ born babies and new immigrants are level pegging here so the change to the country's population makeup is rapid. In contrast with all the immigration angst in the US they have 3.7:1 baby to immigrant ratio rather than our roughly 1:1.

I think you will find the children of immigrants born in NZ are treated as Kiwi. That is one of the ways they manage to explain every immigrant pays more tax than they cost - the education of their NZ born children is not counted. To be fair most of those children do grow up as kiwis and then again you get immigrants like my ex-neighbour: arrived, had two children, got their NZ passports, family returned to Istanbul. Benefit to NZ??


I am glad you brought that up. Our rapidly widening infrastructure gap, low wage growth while living costs swell, zero to negative productivity growth, low R&D exp. to GDP ratio, high child poverty, low levels of literacy and numeracy skills, low number of STEM workers as a proportion of total workforce - if we keep falling behind at this rate, we wouldn't have the privilege to call ourselves a first-world nation for too long.

How change a country in a generation. Quite the social experiment. "New Zealand’s total fertility rate in 2017 was down to 1.81 births per woman, its lowest recorded level."


There seems to be a general consensus that massive third world immigration is good for our country. Not sure how this mindset came about. We are a western nation with strong historic ties to other western nations. We can stand on our own two feet with all these new arrivals.

I'm ambivalent on it but was there ever a voter mandate for this social experiment?

Our main industries and exports aren't exactly the first-world types; that could very well be the reason we are in this pickle today.

We don't exactly require an army of hi-tech engineers or scientists to run an economy majorly based on high-volume tourism and agricultural exports. We can't even do basic necessities like housing right in this country without bringing foreign capital, workers and companies into the mix.

I believe our current state is simply a manifestation of decades of under-investment in infrastructure, productivity and innovation.

And training, apprentices....


That's is the great lie isn't it? Left wing (and thus majority of media ) boost it. But majority of voters are opposed. We know this because all parties, baring greens, claim they will be tough on immigration and reduce it when campaigning. Large scale 3rd world immigration depresses wages and employment for labouring classes, hurting their welfare greatly. But it's popular with reactionary far left, who with world views frozen in adolescence and uncaring of economics just want to overthrow the status quo. It's nodded along with by service industry middle class who's jobs are protected from immigrant competition by the academic and language skills required, and who like access to cheap toilet cleaners and lawn-mowing services. And it's liked by agriculture, manufacturing and retail business owners who benefit from lowered labour costs. But 3rd world immigrants with poor english and education and cultural resistance to integration will frequently cost NZ the best part of a million dollars over a lifetime of poorly paid or no employment in welfare, health and retirement costs. They are generally a terrible investment compared to selecting a cream of hard working educated higher earners who most definitely pay their way in taxes etc.

And yet, as far as I can find the Greens are the only ones who actually have a policy for population. While it doesn't go near numbers, it does touch on things like birth control etc, and does sort of acknowledge there are limits. They could go further, way, way further, but at least they have made a start.

Pray tell what "further, way, way further" are we talking about here pockets?! Reproduction rates are already at record lows.

Not everywhere, they are not, otherwise the world population would be plummeting and it isn't.

Wouldn't be so bad if they arrived at the airport then moved round the rest of the country but Auckland is now critically overloaded. The roading infrastructure is never going to meet the influx, it cannot cope now, in fact its been stuffed for years now. Okay so Kiwibuild was a total failure but its not that hard to turn off the immigration tap, pretty sure it would take hours to do.

The underlying data is rather hidden by large numbers of Aussies and returning Kiwis. We notice the visible immigrant and are tempted to over deduce. Certainly ""a net gain 66,001 non-New Zealand citizens"" is a concern given no public debate.
Are work and long term visitor visas as concerning as permanent residency? Probably not. Just checking MBIE's fancy migration dashboard [ ] and permanent residency is going down by ~10% so Labour are partly keeping their word.

Labour had little to do with the fall in resident visa numbers. Back in 2016, the National-led government succumbed to valid calls from all sides for slashing migration numbers and introduced a minimum income threshold on resident visa applications. Fortunately, they've linked this threshold to NZ's median income, requiring annual review and changes.
The INZ website reported nearly 50% drop in resident applications immediately after the threshold was enforced, so the current fall in number is the impact of Nat's changes.

Fair enough. At least Labour didn't reverse it. And they seem to have kicked the labour inspectorate into gear - hardly a week goes by without a scam being reported.

Yep enforcement has thankfully been rachetted up, so we are starting to hear more and more of all the dodgy immigrants we have somehow welcomed in

Enforcement? Don't be so sure. There are lots of huge awards being made against dodgy companies. But notably many of them have already gone out of business. So whistle for the monry.

We need a target population policy. If we got real hard on the harmful immigration our basic birthrate would mean the total population would drift down. We would bbenefit all round if we got it to below two million. (not a common view I know. But think about it)

Personally I would prefer less people than more.