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%).
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.