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New Zealand records its second highest ever net monthly migration gain; 4100 net arrivals in April

New Zealand records its second highest ever net monthly migration gain; 4100 net arrivals in April

Immigrants are continuing to pour into the country, with the impact likely to be more pressure on the housing market and interest rates.

Statistics New Zealand said that in April the country had a seasonally-adjusted net gain of 4100 migrants. This is the second-highest ever total and follows a March figure (3800), which had also been a second-highest ever.

In the past three months, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the country has seen a net 11,530 migrants come in.

Such a rate, if continued, would give the country an annual gain of over 46,000, which would easily be the most ever.

Month-by-month the inflow is exceeding official expectations. The key reason for the growing net migration numbers has been far fewer Kiwis choosing to leave for Australia - as the economy across the ditch is now seen as far less favourable than the conditions are at home.

The Reserve Bank watches the migration figures closely, because of the potential impact on such things as the labour and housing markets.

In recent weeks the central bank has clearly become more concerned about the rising rates of immigration, which have exceeded its forecasts. In a recent speech, Deputy Governor Grant Spencer said that the easing or removal of the 'speed limits' on high loan to value lending introduced in October "will depend importantly on the restraining impact of interest rate increases and any renewed pressure arising from the net immigration".

ASB economist Daniel Smith said strong migration was "one of the reasons why interest rates will continue to rise over the next couple of years".

The latest migration figures showed that the Government "must take action" to curb the pressure on house prices and inflation, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said.

"The Government cannot continue to ignore the housing crisis."

He said a Labour government would "manage migration at stable levels, curb rising house prices by clamping down on speculators and taxing capital gain, and build 100,000 affordable houses”.

When Prime Minister John Key was asked this week (prior to release of the new figures) about rising immigration he said it was "a very positive story. I mean the reason that migration is strong is not because there’s a lot more people coming to New Zealand – there’s a lot less people leaving New Zealand".

On the possibility of taking fewer migrants, Key said: "The Government always plays around with that kind of inflow if you like but let’s remember that over half of those people that come to New Zealand are in the skilled migrant category."

RBNZ 'too conservative'

Deutsche Bank New Zealand chief economist Darren Gibbs said even if were to be assumed that migrant inflows have peaked in April it seemed likely that the RBNZ's assumption regarding the near-term migrant arrivals would prove "too conservative".

"Stronger-than-expected migrant flows risk reigniting the housing market and thus remain a key source of upside risk to the RBNZ’s growth and domestic inflation forecasts (as the RBNZ has itself identified). Net outflows to Australia seem unlikely to strengthen materially until the Australian labour market finds a firmer footing (which could be some time yet according to our Australian colleagues)."

On a seasonally-adjusted basis in April just a net 390 Kiwis left the country - which is the lowest total since Stats NZ started publishing the figures in the current form in 1996. In terms of actual (non-seasonally-adjusted) figures, the 1073 net loss of Kiwis overseas in April is the smallest total for an April since 1991.

But while fewer numbers of Kiwis are leaving, greater numbers of non-Kiwis are coming into the country as well. The net seasonally-adjusted gain of 4480 non-Kiwi migrants in April was the highest tally since February 2003. The numbers of non-NZ citizen migrants coming into the country have exceeded 4000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis for each of the past seven months.

For the 12 months to April the net gain in migrants (actual figures) was 34,400. Stats NZ said the only time annual net migration was higher was in 2002 and 2003. New Zealand recorded its highest-ever net gain of 42,500 in the May 2003 year.

Auckland gets most

Within New Zealand, 12 out of 16 regions had a net gain of international migrants, led by Auckland (16,000), Canterbury (5,300), Otago (900), and Wellington (700).

The highest ever seasonally-adjusted tally for a month was in February 2003 (4700), when a large number of overseas students arrived to study at New Zealand universities. 

On an unadjusted basis there was a net gain of 2424 migrants in April. That was actually the most for an April since 1958. Usually the month sees a net loss of migrants as Kiwis head off overseas.

"Net migration has been positive and mostly increasing since September 2012. The increase since then was mainly due to fewer New Zealand citizens leaving for Australia, as well as more non-New Zealand citizens arriving," Stats NZ said.

In the April 2014 year, migrant arrivals numbered 98,800 (up 13% from 2013), and migrant departures numbered 64,400 (down 22%). This resulted in the net gain of 34,400 migrants.

The seasonally adjusted net loss of 200 migrants to Australia in April 2014 was the lowest-ever for the series, which began in 1996.

In the latest year, New Zealand had a net loss of 11,100 migrants to Australia, well down from 34,100 a year earlier. Net gains were recorded from most other countries, led by India (6400), China (6200), and the United Kingdom (5900).

ASB view

ASB's Daniel Smith reiterated that the strong net migration inflows were being largely driven by a continued decline in NZ’s net migration deficit with Australia.

"As the Australian labour market improves gradually over 2014, we do expect NZ’s net migration inflow to slow down, but annual migration is still likely to peak at around 40,000," he said.

"Strong migration is providing a ready supply of workers and keeping NZ labour market strains low.

"But strong population growth will also create additional housing market pressures and drive stronger domestic demand and inflationary pressures. Given recent data, the RBNZ will have to revise up its migration forecasts once again in the June Monetary Policy Statement, and that will flow through to inflation, housing and interest rate forecasts.  

"Strong migration is one of the reasons why interest rates will continue to rise over the next couple of years. We continue to expect the OCR will rise by 25bps June and December this year, with another 100bps of hikes over 2015 taking the OCR to a peak of 4.5%."

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So there variuos ways to look at this, for the immediate term ( now)

  • Up to 4000 new buyers pitching up at Auctions to buy a roof over their heads
  • Or we need to build at least 1000 houses more houses to house them 

Then in the medium term ( 1 to 5 years )

  • We all need to learn Mandarin
  • We will have more $2 shops
  • more  taxi drivers with Phd 's
  • more hairdressers
  • more cleaners
  • more painters
  • more Petrol station attendants
  •  and more eastern food outlets  

Then in  the long run ( 5-25years )

  • Winston Peters , that leathery old goat,  who calls it as he sees it , may have called it already

Don't worry about more $2 shops - Daiso will set up shops in NZ soon or later and they will wipe out the $2 shops.. It's happening across the ditch! 

heck - Daiso - hadn't heard of them
Is that Chinese or Japanes writing on the products?

Japanese store.
Their products; some made in China, some Japanese.  everything $2.80 and 10x the quality of $2 shop

1. Stop KIWIs living in Australia to freely coming back. They paid TAX to australia, they don't need to come back to raise their families.
2. Send more KIWIs to Australia at lease at 2011 level, 2006 level (over 300 people leaving to Aus per day) even better.
Have to say that way after reading the numbers.

Kimy, your comment is pretty breath-taking, coming from a non-native

Bxxger that! been working for 20 years+ and pay my fair share of taxes before leaving to the other shore.  Never been on the dole or any other type benefits.  Now you are telling me I can't come back to my own country.. is this North Korea?

haha-di-haha - that's hilarious - couple of easterners - non-kiwi-born - arguing over how the new zealand spoils should be carved up and who is and isn't entitled - ya gotta love that

Watch it, I am paying for your benefit Bro !

Excellent proposal... you were proposing that ALL countries drop super/pension support for the general population ( under 90yrs old) and that Private or Kiwisaver-style schemes be used instead (ie private , transferable WITHOUT government gouge)  
. Backdated about a decade for most taxpayers, and grandfathered into place to give a safety net for existing tax-payers/dependants.

Compulsory deposit, collected as part of the general tax take (which would have normally paid someones pension) and 50% taken from the fund provider - ie 50% tax direct in country of work, 50% tax indirect by proportion from the policy manager.... so local tax goes to local country, and fund tax goes to whereever the companys' clients are investing from.   So no lost taxes.
 Management Company fund taxed as income on Net Profit, as normal.

Voluntary deposit as "pension/superannuation scheme" savings, just like now having KS and private.

So "compulsory super" folks happy, cause it's compulsory.
Voluntary super folks happy, cause they're not paying an indirect tax that they werern't already paying.

Doing this costs taxpayer nothing more, costs government nothing more, provides funds without means testing, reduces pension load off tax payers, transferrable.

Fix the funds payments for 65/70 -> 90.  If you make it to 90 ! then the community can afford to carry those very few who manage that milestone!  By fixing the length of payout it protects fund providers.

That is what you were saying right??

Problem for low value currency moving to high value currency...but you'll have to spell out for me why you think such people are entitled to extra support from their target country.  (the vice versa makes retirees rich in target country :) )

Reading this ASB comment "As the Australian labour market improves gradually over 2014, we do expect NZ’s net migration inflow to slow down". NZ's immigration is Australia labour market problem.

Ostrich , I have the same problem,  the figures are very confusing ,  it seems the so called UK MIGRANTS are in fact all those who are processed in London , and these include South Africans, Namibians , Zimbabweans , anyone from east or west Africa , the middle east , Indian Ocean Islands such as Seychelles or Mauritius , etc .
Then there is another pivot table on the Stas NZ WEBSITE which gives country -by -country breakdowns , but I have not been able to find it recently .
Either way , we have an immigration policy thats been cut and pasted so much its looks like our housing policy .
And we have a strong Asian lobby demanding  entry-without-English
Hows that for the tail wagging the dog ?
We need to start afresh with a whole new set of policy guidelains

Clozapine for those without medical know-how is a potent anti-psychotic medication.

Thats why you should not take more than two at a time.

Using data from stats: R4 - occupation and region for Resident principal applications (data).
From late 2009 to end 2013
22,159 applicants going to auckland (represents approx 1.47% of auck pop)
6,502 to wellington (1.35% of welly pop).
933 to palmerston north (1.2% of pn pop).
So while the raw numbers make it look like everyones moving to auckland, the % of population increase due to immigrants is not so different across different regions.

This is an important point. From what I have read about urban development. The order and relative size of cities do not change much. So the biggest city may grow the fastest in absolute terms but relatively all cities in a country grow at about the same rate. I think Auckland comapred to Canterbury had similiar growth rates for several decades up to the earthquakes.

Data I analysed above was for visa applications which are a subset of all immigration. requires a job offer to be in place from what I understand.
"Region of Employment for Resident Visa principal applicants, by year of application decision"

Assuming that immigrants require a job offer in order to get a work visa or a skilled job offer in order to get a resident visa.. I don't understand much what is the problem here as in the short term this is an advantage for the country as there is obviously demand that cannot be fulfilled.

If there is immigration is because there is need of workers. New Zealand immigration law is not precisely a flexible law compared to most of the developed countries.
Another issue is that immigration policies are quite flexible because in the long term the more people looking for the same position, the less salary the companies can offer and the more "productive" bussinesses become IF the economy slows down and unemployment grows (and eventually it will).
One interesting thing is that in Europe the left wing parties are the ones more flexible with immigration, while in NZ seems to be the opposite. I wonder if there is anything to do with the private donations to political parties coming from rich business people (immigrants or not) interested in lowering salaries in the long term..
Easy solution, do not allow any political party to receive private donations (neither public funds!). Every political party should get only the membership fees, the more members the more funds, and to fund the elections campaings media should yield media space to all the politic parties in exchange for the news (profitable news) that these parties have generated through the year.

You cant make any assumptions
For 2013 there were 40,000 inbound migrants
of which 20,000 came in under the family re-union category
only 8,000 came in under the special skilled work-visa category
Immigration Department
Have a close trawl through the immigration statistics
R4 - Visa approvals by Occupation and Skills
The largest 2 groups are Retail Managers (read $2 shops) and Cafe and Restaurant managers (read family staff members to assist in culturally diverse takeaway shops)

The following is not backed up by immigration stats where only 20% of 40,000 migrants are in the skilled category .. but, look at the line items, line-by-line, and they contradict John Key absolutely
[quote from above article] John Key said: "let’s remember that over half of those people that come to New Zealand are in the skilled migrant category" [endquote]

Dunno if its the same here as the UK, but an easy way to get cheap labour in is to offer sub-standard wages that no one here would work for. 
Short term doesnt fix things IMHO.  When you have 6% un-employment and no wage increases I question why we need an increasing number of immigrants.  Especially when quite a few incomers seem to be bar managers.
So if on the other hand employers paid the going rate, NZ ppl would see it as advantagious to move into that field or up in that field. 
I dont agree on your funding of parties point, then it can come down to whomever has the most $ gets an advantage.

Your initial assumption is incorrect.   Those skill shortages are manufactured and usually because local business won't train people or can't afford to / can't afford the risk with our labour laws so massive in favour of the employee.

We have the people but many need training and/or experience .... and there are people who cheat the system - just where do you think you'll find a Sushi chef with proper certifications from The Wong Brothers Certified Skool of Sushi Certifying.

The short and long term bonus would be to train local people into the job.  then more local people would be working in decent paid employment giving better wages and productivity to the country.... and then we could have real skill shortage to bring in immigrants.
Right now, there's big queues of people who could be good and can be trained, but by bringing in "quick fix" immigrants those queues stay there, and that means those people still don't have skills or experience and can't afford to get them, and can't afford to participate economically. Thta's acts as drag on the economic model, lots of people, very little income to spend, few wealthy "lucky ones" and foreigners...but not enough to support the economy!  So in a year or three, when you start to get that feeling you're supporting a whole bunch of Kiwi bludgers with no skills.... you won't be wrong (or alone).    But until we see local people skilled up and paid better, they'll always be a burden rather than an asset, and only making sure they've got somewhere to go will lighten the load.  Each one working is one more spender in the economy, and one less go nowhere burden.   Hiring foreigners (before fixing the propblem!!) isn't going to make that go away. 

So hopefully you're here now, welcome the the grind, hope you can help.

And the question I'll put to you that I do with every what are you doing in your new country that is going to stop it having the problems that made your old country less desireable?
Someone has done a very informative analysis on this mysterious 'net migration' figure for 2014.
It looks like the biggest drivers for the increase in net migration are:
1. less departing of NZer to overseas
2. more arriving of NZer from overseas
3. Ozers coming to NZ
4. more student and work visa holders coming to NZ
Noticeably, residence visa holders coming to NZ in 2014 actually decreased.
So, whoever pointing the dirty fingers to 'migrants', could you please get your facts first?

I am an immigrant, so not against immigration. However we must consider the negative effect of immigration due to our method of banking.

When immigrants come to this country they bring their money with them. This money is not usable inside the NZ economy as it is foreign currency.

They convert their currencies into the NZ dollar, and that is where the problem lies.

When we give the new immigrants NZ dollars, for their foreign currency, no new NZ dollars are created. The immigrants are given our NZ dollars, from our existing pool of NZ dollars. In other words we now have to share our existing money supply, with the immigrants, and so have less dollars per head. So we are all poorer.

Once the immigrants settle in and start borrowing from the banks, then we have more money to go around. Because this borrowed money is bank created money.

If the government said, “We are going to have x amount of new immigrants and so we have to inject more money into the system, to cover the extra people, (interest free). Then we would all gain.

As for the foreign currency they bring in. It is grabbed up by importers to pay for all that rubbish they bring in. It is also grabbed up by investors to repatriate their NZ profits. Very little benefits this country.

We end up with more private debt and more imported rubbish. Add to this the pressure on houses, schools, roads, interest rates etc.

Of course the banks win – They always do.

Since when having foreign currencies buying new zealand dollars is bad for NZ economy?
What is bad is not people spending their savings (in NZD or other currency), what it's bad is people spending the wealth that does not exist yet (loands, money created out of nothing under the promised to be paid back once the future "wealth" is created)

Exactly, it makes NZD stronger and that could affect exports.. of low value added.
But it also attracts foreign investors into New Zealand and help diversify the economy not to be so reliant in exporting low value added products.
With Japan printing, USA printing, Europe soon to print massively as well.. I think it's not such a bad idea to leave the NZD get stronger and take advantage of attracting foreign investment to transform NZ economy into something more technology-related, clean energy, innovation & research etc.
Strong currency is only bad when the product exported is a low added value product.
Have a look at Germany and how happy they are with a strong Euro while exporting highly sofisticated technology.

After all, lowering the currency works.. until everyone else decides to lower it as well.
Also lets not forget external debt is easier to pay with stronger currency.

"Can you think of any problem in any area of human endeavor on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by further increases in population, locally, nationally, or globally?" - Prof.  Albert Bartlett

Oh so true ................we are really kidding ourslves if we think we can grow the country or our GDP  by stacking the extended family of Bangladeshi cousins, uncles, aunts , brothers , sisters , parents and inlaws in here under the family get together scheme .
Our rules should be , bring skills or money and be prepared to  roll your sleeves up and work like the rest of us  .

the issue is not population, its that population is not linear curve and neither productivity.

Dear Prof: low population farming is hard.  breeding more workforce allows job specialisation. job specilisation over singleton labour is more productive but non-linear from diminishing return effects (see Adam Smith for detail).   
 so some people is great, many people is not.

A.R and the Prof.
Yes, I can think of one.
Passing your huge debt on to others, as per Governments of New Zealand and Local Councils Policy Statement and Reserve Bank initiatives.
We copied it from others all equally as demented. 
They are banking on it working.
Early days yet.

Is National stacking the pack by continuing this foolishness? Immigrants are not stupid and will quickly realise that getting Ma and Pa and cousin Lee in might be dependent on National staying in power.
At some point also I think we will have the North AKL Asian party joining National in an MMP coalition.

Sounds like for you only Asian immgrants are the problem?
Are you a xxxxxx?

I like your alias.. and your mentality!

Terrible timing, why do people immgrating from the UK choose to leave the northern hemisphere at the start of their summer to arrive just in time for the start of our winter.

Immigration creates its own demand (gib stoppers etc)
Also 80% of population growtjh over the last 20 years has been non NZ citizens (when you subtract Kiwis leaving) so we have a big population who can come back and do the big creative thing it's alleged will happen (by those who say we need a larger population.

Two sides to every coin.
It does not matter whether in Pounds or Dollars, you have been screwed, often Royally.
Some are making a fortune at your expense and out of your lack of interest.^editors_choice
Well three actually......for those who have it in for pensioners. Whose rule will we follow.
Why England of course!.
Now this is probably why people are emigrating from UK. Little do they know, we are all in the same position, because what goes around comes around to a little Antipodean spot on the other side of the world, but we do not report it, just ignore it.
Probably make em feel quite at

Migration - no mucking around - the Australian way
The fine print of the May 2014 Australian budget is now emerging
The non-contributing family re-union visa is being scrapped
From today, migrants who wish to bring their parents to Australia will have to pay $62,500 per parent, or $125,000 for 2 parents

Good on the Aussies , they are a pretty straight up and down bunch who deal with a problem upfront to prevent it biting them on the backside later .
Why are we not doing the same , given the huge numebrs of migrants bringing their paresnt over

Just means more deciding on nz instead of au.

A lot of talk in usa about house prices and Imigration. They generally want more ppl in. Most interesting thing hapoening in some towns in usa is increased restrictions on new land supply and development for housing as the over supply during gfc was seen as main cause of house price falls! So opposite thing to nz situation

Plus they can build down to a price...not flash, but habitable. Unlike New Zealand.
Here we build big and leaky  and over priced Mcmansions built  for flicking on, and con-glomerates to make excessive profits on and landbwankers too...not for the poor down trodden.  No, they are subsidised by Tax rorts to be housed in Tax evasion schemes, but not for the poor taxpayer, trying to put a simple roof over their heads.
OH way.
Strange, but true.....

Governments always quote the net figure and not gross when giving immigration information to residents. What are they trying to hide? It takes a few years of large immigration numbers before residents begin to see the effects. Insufficient housing is one of those signs which we are seeing already.