Fewer Indian students coming here thanks to rogue education agents in their homeland, but more Chinese and South Africans are arriving

There are fewer students from India and workers from the Philippines coming to this country, but more workers from South Africa and investors from China, according to the latest migration figures.

Statistics NZ's migration figures show there was an explosion in the number of students from India who came to New Zealand to study following changes that the government made at the end of 2013. These changes allowed overseas students to work here for a year when they completed their studies and made it easier for them to gain New Zealand residency once they had a job.

But the figures also show that the number of Indian students coming here has dropped back significantly this year, with 2807 arriving in the first quarter of this year compared with 3825 in the first quarter of last year (-27%), and 1319 arriving in the second quarter of this year compared to 1585 in the second quarter of last year (-17%).

Unscrupulous agents

June Ranson, the chairperson of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment pointed to two main reasons for the downturn.

She said educational institutions in this country often recruited students from India via educational agents that were based there and who were  paid a commission for each student they enrolled.

Many of these agents had been unscrupulous and had been overstating how easy it would be for students to gain residency at the end of their studies. They had been enrolling students in courses such as one year diploma courses in management or hospitality, which were unlikely to see them gaining a job that would meet residency requirements at the end of their studies.

"It seemed the agents in India were only concerned about their own revenue," Ranson said.

Many of the students who came here via educational agents in India were also found to have used falsified documents and a crackdown by immigration officials had increased the number of student visa applications that were being declined.

Ranson said although the number of students coming here from India had declined this year, those that were coming now were more likely to be studying in areas that matched skills shortages in this country, such as those related to the construction, IT and electronics industries.

Restrictions in the Philippines

There has also been a dip in the number of people from the Philippines coming here on work visas, with 452 arriving in the second quarter of this year compared to 529 in the second quarter of last year. (-15%).

Ranson said that was caused by alleged cases of exploitation of workers from the Philippines  in the construction industry in Christchurch, with some of those cases still before the courts.

As a result, the Philippines government had put restrictions New Zealand companies recruiting staff in the Philippines, which had made it more difficult for them to get the staff they wanted, reducing inflows.

Higher numbers of Chinese & South Africans

But while there has been a reduced flow of migrants from India and the Philippines, the number of people arriving from China and South Africa is continuing to increase.

There were 1893 long term arrivals from China in the second quarter of this year, compared to 1806 in the second quarter of 2015, 1567 in the second quarter of 2014 and 1338 in the second quarter of 2013, with those arriving on both student and residency visas showing steady growth.

Ranson said that most Chinese migrants arriving on residency visas would have qualified because of investments they made in this country.

But the biggest growth in migrants has been from South Africa, with 1029 arriving from that country in the second quarter of this year, slightly more than double the 508 who arrived in the second quarter of last year.

Growth in migrant numbers form South Africa has been increasing at a reasonably fast pace for the last four years and if it continues at the current pace, it will make South Africa one of the biggest source countries for migrants in the next couple of years.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the "Register" link below a comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.


A much better state of affairs. Good news.

Good news? Can you explain why?

Because Chinese are rich and will continue to buy up housing.

You know me too well.

Well at least the South Africans wont fuel the housing market , they are mostly way too poor and are forced to rent , their currency has halved in value in 36 months , they have exchange controls that allows a max of NZ $200k for a husband and wife and their property market has been depressed for ages , so when the sell up over there they get next to nothing .

The other thing about them , is they have to find work , which means they pay tax and contribute to our economy , and they generally behave themselves .

WHAT? you're telling me it's not contributing to the economy by buying an AUDI Q7 and buying up lots of existing property and land banking?

Nah , the South Africans are mostly renters with Nissans and Toyotas. I have yet to come across too many in the Audi Q7 league , although I am sure some of the many South African Doctors and other professionals are in that league .

I was talking about Chinese migrants.

Are you saying this woman doesn't contribute to the economy?

An Auckland woman forfeited her $128,000 luxury Audi Q7 car to the Crown after she was caught with a huge haul of more than 1100 cockles and almost 1,000 oysters.

Xiaojuan Wei was gathering shellfish with her mother from an east Auckland beach in June 2014 when Ministry for Primary Industries honorary fishery officers arrived.

Sorry but where does it say she is Chinese?

Yeah she could be Maori and if it was for a tangi then it's all sweet as bro

Could be inferred from the name given.

I'm still trying to work out if Undecided is 'taking the proverbial' or not

Same could be said for you.

That's racist. If we used that same method, then we could estimate that Chinese buyers are 43% of property buyers in Auckland.

AAAAhhhh, chur bro!

And who is going to provide those rentals??

I and other first class citizens will.

Few Chinese Investors are good enough to buy NZ. All data suggests but our PM can andvwill deny till he faces election and the fear of losing it grips them

Mark my word. Wait and watch for next year as all tone will change but will be too late


Vote NZ First and #Make New Zealand Great Again

Sounds like you are decided.

I didn't decide. National decided for me with their inaction.

I wonder how many reluctant NZ First voters there will be. Will I need to bring my own vomit bag when I vote or will they be provided?

If national continues with their policy of denial and lie will be big boost to Winston Peter. I too may vote for him but only if he says that will not go with John Key.

All politicans may be same but currently any solution start with #jkexit.

Do not like to see the arrogant smurk on his face when he faces people of nz.


New Zealand needs much more immigrants anyway in the present time.

1. Fast ageing population with more people to be 65+ than under 15 within the next 2 decades.

2. Low birth rates below replacement level.

3. Ghost towns appearing in the NZ regions.

The Chinese know how to build a massive ghost city very quickly which can be part of the solution to the housing crisis in New Zealand.

Not sure if taking the piss...

Going to have to come up with a better solution to importing huge numbers of people because of baby boomers, because next thing you know, there's heaps of immigration boomers approaching retirement. Population ageing will be being contributed to by rapidly increasing numbers of adults rather than it increasing with babies, so even immigration will exacerbate those particular numbers.

There is no housing crisis in NZ, there is a immigration crisis. It is obvious that when you allow more people into the country than we can build homes for, that there will be a problem. Add to that the fact, that we allow the rest of the world to buy our housing stock as tradeable assets. This has been a "crisis" in the making for the last 10 years.

There is a problem with Fletchers/Carters and the ripoff regulations, safety rules etc making building very expensive. However we wouldn't need to build many houses without all these migrants.

The government brings a wave of immigrants to build homes, then another wave of immigrants to build homes for the first wave and so on. It sounds like the John Key-led government is growing desperate due to its failure in boosting economic growth and is now resorting to unsustainable solutions to remain in power.

It is unfair to blame the current government.
People can vote, they have done so, and continue with a National Govt

...isn't robotics gonna take all our jobs?

The smart Robots will just become Property Investors

Maybe kiwis would breed more if the cost of living (especially housing) wasn't so high.

That's not what the Globalists want. They want to make us all one ethnicity.

Thought we would be getting more Brits too. How about the Yankees ? Don't they want to escape living under Trump/Hillary ?

So you clearly think we can grow for ever, exponentially on a finite planet?

They're to take not give and have no interest in assimilating - guess what culture


thanks, good sense of humour.. (rofl)

From the linked-to Interest.co article: "Yet good language skills, local business knowledge and an understanding of New Zealand culture are key.
“We find it very difficult to understand a number of [foreign] individuals who are applying for roles, and it does get in the way.”
I am often frustrated by the very poor English language skills of many immigrants and find it surprising that they are given positions where good clear communication is critical. While my hearing is probably not what it used to be spare a thought for our oldies in the rest homes. The mostly Indian staff are virtually impossible for them to communicate with. Apart from the hearing issues, dementia sufferers are usually unable to make the mental connection between a poorly pronounced word and it's intended meaning. My old Mum is in this position, when I am visiting I have to act as interpreter as she has no idea what they're on about. God knows how she gets on when I'm not there.

I heard the same complaint from an American couple living in their London apartment about their kiwi nanny. They were pretty unhappy about her communication skills. But they were very pleased about her other work. I heard a similar story from another employer there about another kiwi girl with a Samoan descent.

I suppose there are always going to be these types of issues with people from different language backgrounds. At least your American friends chose their nanny and could get rid if they couldn't understand her - although I must say I do find your story a little less than credible.

At some point robots will replace nursing staff. They'll be cheaper and better at English. Probably more honest too.

I don't care where they are from there are close to ten times too many on a long term basis. At the moment they are all too many.

Our crazy arsed government is determined to overflow the country with people.
I'm always surprised how many NZ'ers think its a good strategy. It would have to be the most short sighted, ticking time bomb of inappropriate policy the country has ever had. As the infrastructure deficit builds up, our lifestyle is eroded and our future tax bill expands.
The good news is that most of the immigrants don't want more people so when they outnumber the locals they will vote to turn the tap off.

Gosh who could have known that education agents getting a bounty for every live body they ship over to the tertiary sector might be less than honest about the abilities of the students they send here? Let's not even consider the ethics of charging such students thousands of dollars for programmes of study that they're unlikely to complete and of questionable value to them even if they can complete them.