The net number of people leaving New Zealand permanently for Australia was 3,147 in June, the highest net outflow for a June month since 1981, figures released by Statistics New Zealand show.
Numbers of people leaving Christchurch, mainly for Australia, remained above average in June, following the February 22 earthquake that devastated much of the city’s central business district and left upwards of 10,000 homes needing to be demolished. This exodus has contributed to the trend of permanent migration to New Zealand turning negative since the quake.
Permanent departures of Christchurch residents numbered 600 in June, up from 500 in June 2010, Statistics New Zealand said. Permanent arrivals to Christchurch fell from 500 to 300 over the same period, while permanent departures from Christchurch between March and May 2011 were almost double those in the same months of 2010.
The net figure of 3,147 departures to Australia in June 2011 consisted of 832 arrivals to New Zealand, down from 1,093 in June 2010, and 3,979 departures, up from 2,923 a year ago. The vast majority of arrivals and departures were NZ citizens.
Meanwhile, seasonally adjusted figures show there was a net outflow of 340 people from New Zealand to live overseas for a year or more in June, the fourth consecutive month this occurred. Statistics New Zealand’s net migration trend, which is based on the seasonally adjusted figures, turned negative in April, falling to 350 departures in June.
On an unadjusted basis, a net 1,491 people left New Zealand permanently in June, double the net exodus in the same month a year ago.
Annual figures show New Zealand had a net permanent migration gain of 3,867 in the year to June 2011, the lowest for any year since the year to December 2008.
This compared to a net gain of 16,504 permanent migrants to New Zealand in the year to June 2010.
(Updates with chart)