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Statistics NZ's new system for measuring migration flows suggests net migration is significantly lower than previously stated

Statistics NZ's new system for measuring migration flows suggests net migration is significantly lower than previously stated

Population growth from migration may be far lower than previously estimated, according a new migration measures adopted by Statistics NZ.

According to the new system, there was a net gain from migration (long term arrivals minus long term departures) of 43,400 in the 12 months to November.

The old system was partially based on the use of departure cards that people filled out when leaving the country but their use has been discontinued. According to Statistics NZ the new system is more reliable.

The last month for which figures were available under the old departure card system was October, which showed a net gain of 61,800 for the 12 months to October. This would have been 45,200 under the new system.

That suggests the net population gain from migration may be around 27% lower than the previous data suggested.

Under the new system, Statistics NZ said 105,900 non-New Zealand citizens arrived in the country on a long term basis in the 12 months to November and 54,700 departed, giving a net gain of 51,300 non-New Zealand citizens.

Over the same period 38,100 New Zealand citizens returned to the country after an extended absence, and 45,900 departed long term, giving a net loss of 7800 New Zealand citizens.

That produced an overall net gain of 43,400 for the year.

Of the estimated 144,020 people who arrived in this country long term in the 12 months to November, 31% were NZ or Australian citizens, 22% were on work visas, 20% were on visitor visas, 16% were on student visas and 10% were on residence visas.

Statistics NZ said the regional migration figures which which it published each month under the old departure card system were no longer available and it had been "investigating options" to provide regional migration data under the new system.

It did not say when this might be available.


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''Look mum, I've got a new ruler.''

"My [egg plant emoji] is so much bigger now"

Your famous Long John. Your quoted on Macrobusiness

The difference is only in the definitions, not actual counts of physical people. What were once called "long term migrants' are now reclassified as short term stays and just like magic all our problems are solved.

Lower the oft quoted average number of individuals per household and we can have a housing shortage again

Cite/link please.

I don't see how someone that doesn't leave can be moved into the short term stay category...

If you have filled out a departure card, you will know that you are expected to state how long you stayed and how long you intend to be away. These estimate leave plenty of room for error, especially for the 50% of people with below average intelligence. The new system uses electronic data. Or you can believe the people at stats NZ have only just learned how to count.

Right, so you're making shit up. They've gone from using the intention data on arrival cards to actual physical movement data. One is guesswork on intention, one is what actually happened.

You must be in the bottom 50% because arrival cards are not even mentioned, and it is obvious they know how many people are arriving and leaving, all that has changed is the terminology used to describe them. The actual count of people in NZ has not changed.


How the hell is it possible to have a system that is/was that inaccurate? Keeping track of Passports coming in and out of NZ, even if some people have multiple passports (easy enough to cross reference using something they have in common - like their name and date of birth) is not a particularly difficult ledger balance to keep.

Even simpler than that. Don't bother matching up details, just count people in and out. it wouldn't be perfect, but tourist numbers would result in a seasonally variable offset, and the net change in the long run would be obvious. Pretty sure we would get better than +/-30% anyways..

So does that mean our official population numbers are massively screwy as well? How did this massive error not show up previously? Is the census data all buggered as a result? All economic per capita measures way off? Jesus there must be a pile of potential revisions needed.
[edit: graph here: ]

I think todays' Editors choice comment of the day is relevant here as well.

"Hey, it shurely isn't April 1 yet, Greg?"


So if Net Migration has been substantially lower than previously estimated, and estimates of housing demand have been determined using the old (incorrect?) figure.. the so-called housing shortage is significantly less, if it even exists at all...

Oh dear, what will our resident spruikers claim is propping up the housing bubble now?

Bring on the census figures and lets see what is real.

I personally would love to see what BLSH's take is on this. Also Tony Alexander's will be interesting, too.

I can't wait to see what the average dwelling figures come back as from Census '18.
That 'underlying shortage' argument will run out of puff.

I have a friend that worked on Census, at least until she got so pissed off with the complete disorganised shambles it was and quit.. lets just say that it won't be the most accurate census we've ever had. But its going to be the best data we have till the next census.

Yep. I actually have much more intimate knowledge on the intricacies of the collection process and would concur.

Pragmatist.... I had a friend who worked for Auckland Council and she quit for similar reasons! Total shambles!

A family member worked for the census, and she said it was a total shambles too.

First online one I think. And many people (she worked in South Auckland with lots of immigrants) just didn't want to do it, or couldn't work out how to do it or said they'd already done it, when they hadn't.

Many don't speak english, and they don't take kindly to a white woman telling them it's important they do it.

"I personally would love to see what BLSH's take is on this."

Good to know that you hang on my every word. When an article comes out the first thing you think is "I wonder what BLSH thinks about this".

Well, it has always been pretty central to your argument that there is an 'underlying supply shortage' in the market.
I just thought that this would be pertinent info for that.

"Good to know that you hang on my every word"

a comedian is always entertaining!!!!

And what does he/she think?

Not much wriggle room sorry mate!

My main thought so far is that I want to know more about this new measure and why it is more accurate than the old approach. Don't know enough to form an opinion yet, but it looks like there is guesswork involved - "To produce timely results, we use a statistical model to produce provisional migration estimates." And what implication, if any, does this have for MBIE's estimated shortfall of 45K units.

TBH I would say "guesswork" is better defined by your comments - defined as an estimate derived from insufficient information.

The switch has been from an intentions based form of collection to an outcomes based estimate using IDI resources. It would probably be pretty hard to argue that the new measure is worse at estimating the true level of net PLT migration than departure and arrival cards.
Especially given that you have been okay with quoting average and median house price indices in the past, it's hard to believe that you have reservations about the variance properties of stats' new estimates.

"To produce timely results, we use a statistical model to produce provisional migration estimates." . Sounds like some level of guesswork is involved to me. Unlike you, I'll wait until I actually know the details of their estimating model before I go drawing conclusions.

I don't want to be mean, so I must ask, are you by any chance suffering the after-effects of a stroke? If this is the cause of your word salad, I'll stop making fun of you. "IDI resource" "net PLT migration" "outcomes based estimate" "variance properties".

Ahh. The good 'ol attack someone when you don't understand them.

IDI - Integrated Data Infrastructure
PLT - Permanent Long Term
Outcomes - I don't actually know how to make that sound simpler. Perhaps this: Joe thinks he might do something versus Joe does something. Which would you prefer to measure?
Variance - The risk of something not being what it is.

Easier to understand?

I'm not going to google your obscure acronyms, sunshine. I know what the other words mean - its the way you've strung them together that leads to word salad.

You strike me a strange kind of guy - I'm genuinely curious, how old are you and what do you do for a living? I'm picturing a first year uni student. The phrase "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing" comes to mind when I read your comments.

So what you're saying is you can't put forward a valid argument, so you'll question my credibility.
Excellent approach.

What does it matter who I am or what I do?
This is an anonymous forum. I can be anyone you want BLSH.
I'll give you that power.

First year uni student with a little bit of knowledge it is then

That says more about you than it does of me ;)

I do miss your nymad parody comments BLSH, they were funny.

I subscribe to the Bob Dey Property Report... he will be writing an update on this once he's looked into the figures a bit more. I will post it once it comes through.

The RBNZ study on the housing shortage was rationalized to the census data on years it was available so im not sure the migration data is going to swing it as much as you think. Ill post the study and maybe someone has enough time to go through it in more detail:

They used census data to interpolate populations that they didn't have any actual data from (periods between censuses, prior to 2006).
The stuff they used from 2006 onwards was based on population estimates from Stats NZ which are a function of net migration rates.

The paper is based on the shortage of housing if you consider the true rate of building growth to be that of some country wide rate (excluding the region considered).
The effect of their methodological approach is to assume that all factors determining the rate of growth converge. However Auckland by their figures has a relatively large growth in young people (intuitive for large cities) and substantially different unobserved demographics than the rest of the country.

So I dunno how much you can actually take away from this in saying that Auckland has an underlying dwelling shortage.

They state here that the census data is used whenever possible:

"The most detailed sources of regional age-specific demographic information
are the Statistics New Zealand censuses, which are available for 1996, 2001,
2006 and 2013. Although these data provide estimates of the population
broken down into five-year age groups, the irregular frequency of the
censuses limit their usefulness. Nonetheless, we combine the census data
with the annual estimates of the population of four age groups (0 – 14; 15 –
39; 40 – 64; and 65 plus) that Statistics New Zealand produced for the period
2007 – 2016 to create age-specific demographic variables."

Im not sure what 'combine' entails but it seems there is at least a regular touchstone of non-migration related data in the series that should limit the effect of the large migration revision to the last 5 years. If thats the case then its a reduction in the housing shortage nationwide of about 16,000-20,000 and i guess that is perhaps 8,000-10,000 less for Auckland.

They may just base the estimates. I dunno.
Either way the effect will be minimal as that's only one census period. All the predictive power will be coming from the non census based estimates during that period.

That's not really how it works - ya can't just assume ~22% less from the output estimates. But you could be relatively accurate if that has been the difference in true migration over all periods. However, I doubt the amount and distribution is consistent over the time series.
You would have to re-estimate the model completely using the new data.

Indeed but it starts to put the error in to a ball park context. I reduced the net migration totals from 2013 by the 27% proposed error and then just multiplied by the stated average houses per person. There will be plenty of error in that but if the shortage was 30,000 to 60,000 then we are likely still looking at a decent shortage.

Yep. Very true. And estimates on estimates are naturally going to have higher variance.

Yeeea, don't estimate it that way.
Here they are exploiting the differential between rest of country and Auckland building rates to estimate a theoretical shortage. As I initially said, the shortage assumes that Auckland shares exactly the same distributional characteristics as the rest of the country related to dwelling consents per person.

Yeah i think that point probably has merit but young people still need houses, they just tend to crowd more.

And the crowding is what defines them as being fundamentally different.

But, as you say, they need houses. It's just we don't really know the true marginal propensity of them to consume new houses. i.e. whether current rates of occupancy are due to an underlying social reason or borne of necessity.

interesting spanner in the works. Surprise, surprise, there many not be a housing shortage, just a speculative bubble from 10 years of cheap credit and loose lending.

don't be mean to the spruikers... that was their last straw.. if you take that away.. what other excuse would they have?????????

The number of people has not changed, all that has changed is the terminology used to define them. Better luck next time.


At this rate KiwiBuild will not be needed at all.
Instead of a housing shortage there will be a housing glut.
Builders will be thrilled developing into a vacuum.
Once again politicians are shown to be totally ignorant of the unintended consequences rule.

Yep, time to take Kiwibuild on a one way walk out to the back paddock.

Does it provide the government with a reason/excuse to not go ahead with KB?

Houses are still unaffordable to Kiwis on typical incomes. The government may as well keep working on ways to boost supply (just as in the 20th century), to boost home ownership again. Whether that includes Kiwibuild is another matter. Might be better to work on boosting state housing supply so that accommodation supplements can be gradually reduced (and ideally, Working for Payroll SubsidiesFamilies).

Since they broke their cost cutting promises, are currently guaranteeing a minimum price floor of $650,000 and are building sweet FA houses - it is safe to say that efforts to boost supply do not include KB.

KB as implemented is more about keeping prices high, than building more houses.

It'll be interesting, huh.

Typically developers have a hard time in a falling market.

However if I was a developer right now in a (suppesedly) falling market, I'd be pushing to build as much as possible on KB. As you say, a guaranteed price for development when the value of land is decreasing. Leave the govt. with the issue of selling the increasingly overpriced crapbox.

Most developers do not want to be building anything in a falling market.

Which is why the KB policy was only a potential winner when it had included the promised upping of land supply as a cost reduction. If that had been implemented by Phil Twyford (the lying prick) we would have seen an immediate price reduction last year and by now be bouncing into a rising market on the back of low costs. We would have suffered a short time minor inconvenience and now be building much more housing.

The thing is, there may not be a shortage, so why are places so unaffordable? A building boom won’t help if it’s because prices have been driven up for another reason.

A perception of a supply shortage has been part of it?

And of course, inflows of foreign cash that were around in great prevalence.

So why are places so unaffordable?

With reference to Auckland:

An overview of the property price cycle - a theory:

A) For the purpose of estimating future infrastructure needs of the city, town planners projecting the future population of Auckland (based on net inbound international migration, population movements within the country to Auckland and organic population growth) and assuming the number of people per dwelling is unchanged. Comparing that number of residential dwellings needed with the number of current number of actual residential dwellings. Hence the result of that calculation is there is a shortage of houses and there will be need for more infrastructure for the future population size.

B) market commentators and politicians take that housing shortage figure for their own vested interests.
1) real estate agents saying there is a shortage of houses and prices will go up to persuade buyers to buy
2) property promoters saying there is a shortage of housing to persuade novice investors to sign up to their property mentor courses and attract more buyers into the residential housing market
3) politicians saying there is a shortage of housing, and here are our solutions to persuade voters to vote them into office
4) main stream media reporting comments of 2 & 3 above repeatedly reporting a shortage of housing
5) banks willing to provide finance to residential property purchasers - residential mortgages have a low risk asset weight in the risk weighted asset calculation in determining bank capital adequacy. Bank management are financially incentivised by meeting higher and higher profit targets.
6) bank economists saying that there is a shortage of housing - to promote bank lending to property buyers

This creates an initial market demand increase in real estate in the secondary market, and an initial increase in property prices.

The initial increase in property prices attracts
1) property developers to build more residential housing for future population growth needs
2) property investors / landlords to buy property

Then the property price momentum starts increasing. This then attracts

1) property speculators / property traders
2) property renovators / property traders – many previously uninvolved in real estate become property renovators to buy and sell
3) property owners with untapped equity are told to leverage up to buy property to build up a portfolio of passive income for their retirement. Using deposit recycling techniques, equity release financing techniques, leverage builds up, and property prices go higher. The property price rises reinforce the behaviour and beliefs of this group of buyers. Higher prices lead to higher property valuations, lead to more untapped equity to borrow from the banks to buy more property …
4) in the mainstream media, reports of newly minted property millionaires attracts even more into the residential property investment / residential property renovation business / residential property trading business

All being financed by the banks. As property prices rise higher, banks come out with innovative loan products as solutions to assist property buyers afford property purchases at higher price levels - loan products such as the offset facility, interest only loan mortgage, etc. Bank competition increases for mortgage loan volume.

Then the continued upward price momentum creates a fear of missing out which results in
1) owner occupiers and property investors and property speculators bidding aggressively at auctions. This continues along nicely as long as the banks continue to finance such purchases at those price levels.
2) Then property prices reach a point where capital price gains fuel even further capital price gains for a period of time - further residential property price gains fuel higher property valuations, leading to more untapped equity for residential property investors / residential property traders, etc to buy more property
3) property investors are willing to buy negative cashflow properties in the pursuit of future capital gains.
4) lowering of bank mortgage interest rates fuels this cycle even more.

All these factors contribute to what is known in the property market as a "sellers" market - lots of active buyers in the market overwhelming the number of active sellers in the market

Then something happens and the banks start to tighten credit conditions or over leveraged borrowers face financial strains ...

FYI remember that 8% of the households owe over 40% of the mortgage debt issued by banks ... -

There is a fundamental misunderstanding of what a housing shortage means. A housing shortage means prices move quickly, in both directions.

A) Auckland planners decided to slash the amount of land allocated to future growth of Auckland City and triple the land allocation of peripheral Auckland Region towns. This short supply of land begot a housing shortage and the Council response deemed it necessary to spend even more money on opening up further peripheral land to development.

B) the price of land in Auckland soared, which increased the cost of building and slowed the rate of construction. This housing shortage and good demand caused prices to rise and so on, until the price became noticeably over priced.

C) Eventually Auckland ends up an overpriced market with a housing shortage (high demand/inelastic supply). Which means that in the event of a demand reduction price falls in Auckland will be larger than almost any other town in Australasia (only Queenstown will run it close). Inelastic supply constraints coupled to rising demand creates soaring prices, but inelastic supply coupled to falling demand creates plummeting prices.

Any economic head wind that occurs now could easily result in buttock clenching price reductions to Auckland, bigger than anything seen previously.

Note that there is a positive price feedback loop operating here which is self fulfilling and hence why property price valuations can continue to rise for a long period of time.

If there are a sufficient number of highly leveraged property investors who become financially stressed, time constrained and have a need to sell, there is potential for a negative price feedback loop also.

How the banks choose to respond can have an important impact on the negative price feedback loop - if they enforce mortgage debt contracts with highly leveraged borrowers then there can be a sharp adjustment in prices. If on the other hand they are willing to "extend and pretend" with highly leveraged borrowers, this will reduce the number of time constrained urgent sellers.

Do not focus on the highly leveraged, they are a small minority. In a falling market those with good (but declining equity) should be looked at first. Fundamentally why do they want to hold an unprofitable asset that is falling in value? The actions of the banks has no hold over these people.

Not all low leveraged or non leveraged residential property owner occupiers are forced to act. Their focus is not the financial returns on the property - for many, they just want a home to live in, something to own, peace of mind, etc. Look at the examples where property prices fell significantly during the GFC in 2008 (such as the US, and Ireland) - many just held on and continued their lives, going to work each week, etc.

Those owner occupiers and residential property investors that were financially stressed were forced to act.
I agree with you that highly leveraged residential property owners may be a small minority of total property owners percentagewise. It is the absolute number of properties that are highly leveraged and potentially vulnerable to a forced sale that is important.

1) In Auckland there are 554,000 residential dwellings as per the Auckland Council.

2) If the number of properties owned using high levels of leverage are say 1% of this amount - that is 5,540 properties that could be listed for sale.

3) compare this with the number of property transactions over the last 12 months of 22,000.

Those 5,540 properties would take about 24 weeks to sell. Remember, that is on top of the existing properties listed for sale in the Auckland market of about 11,000 now (and would represent a 49% increase).

That 1% figure above could be higher or lower.

Then if there is an unexpected shock to the economy which leads to an economic recession and job losses, start to make allowances for more highly leveraged residential property owners who do not have the financial resources to maintain their debt service payments and may be forced to downsize, etc. The higher the unemployment rate, then the higher number of residential properties that could potentially be listed sale.

In an environment where more people are losing their jobs, fewer employed people have the confidence to buy as they are concerned about their own job security and taking on such a large financial obligation. Also banks tighten credit so even fewer qualify for mortgage financing to purchase. So fewer active buyers in the market.

More properties listed on the market for sale = more supply to the market
Fewer people looking for properties = reduced demand to the market

That is how properties remain unsold for a long period of time as vendors hold out for their desired sale price. After a period of time, with no buyer interest at their price level, vendors are willing to accept lower priced offers - some of which are low ball prices by savvy investors with cash or access to cash. Time constrained sellers can't wait and don't have too many good offers and may need to drop their price expectations to get the property sold and get the bank off their back (or the bank takes possession in a mortgagee sale)

The above market dynamics are what many who espouse population growth leads to higher property prices, or those focused on the "housing shortage" miss. Refer
3) those property investors who believe that property prices will continue to double every 10 years as a result of extrapolating historical property price moves over the last 50 years and personal experiences of continued property price gains doubling since the early 2000's.

Residential property is an illiquid market, and when vendors are desperate for liquidity, price is where the adjustment occurs.

Then if property price falls are large, some previously less leveraged financially motivated property investors may lose confidence and look to realise their capital gains, thereby more properties listed for sale. Some residential property investors with commercial loans and subject to annual review of LVR's and debt service ratios may find that the bank has suddenly marked down the valuation of their property and are now in breach of the LVR, and need to sell down their properties to reduce the leverage to acceptable levels by the bank. That is more potential residential property listed for sale....


When things get tough overseas, NZers who haven't paid tax here in years decide to return home and put pressure on our infrastructure. This is an awkward conversation no one wants to have.

Although true, from my experience and others I know, these returning kiwis quite often tend to return with a bunch of money earned off shore.

That money is good for our economy.

Surely this argument is the same as immigration. Unless this movement is anticipated and infrastructure planning can take place does the benefit to consumer spending outweigh the negatives of unplanned population increase.

It is if they spend it on things in shops, it's not if they use it to buy houses when we don't enough for the people who actually live here and prop up the state.

Depends on who they’re buying the houses from. When you buy a house the money doesn’t just disappear into the house never to be used again. Somebody else receives the money. If it’s someone selling a surplus house then they receive the money to spend in shops.

For all intents and purposes, returning Kiwis are essentially foreign buyers. If there was a moral argument to stop them in the name of helping people living here afford houses, then we need to look at returning Kiwis too. Price signals are a big deal in the property market, and cashed up ex-pats returning home who can outspend locals will send prices one way when we have supply issues.

The difference is aside from these expats having citizenship, they will actually reside here and not leech rent money and potentially capital gains out of our country like foreign based speculators. Capital gains that are often borrowed by people taking out bigger mortgages, so there’s interest money going to the banks purely so someone in China can profit.

With returning kiwi's you have to remember that there are currency conversion issues that need to be taken into consideration. For example, If a Kiwi returns from London all cashed up and sold he can expect an exchange rate of about $1.90 to the pound. The long term average( over the last 10 Years) has been around $2.50 that is a huge difference I know several people who have been caught out by this and it can amount to hundreds of thousand of dollars that they don't have to spend.

More like unemployed kiwis in Aussie returning home untill the mining picks up to get benefits here, and then return to Aussie to pay tax there. Some are perminantly deported back to NZ for crime reasons as well.


This throws the whole Auckland housing shortage story out the window! This entire time estimates have been based on false figures. To make things worse migration is slowing as well. I knew something didn't up with this whole housing shortage story. It's going to be interesting to see what happens from here that's for sure!

Yeah but you know the shortage will now move to the rental market. Rents will only go up you know? Cos shortage. Ask Carlos and his Man.

After spending hundred of millions upgrading their system! Nice one NZ immigration.
Bet there are few dogies ones got through without being noticed.

Half ass statistics. Departure cards were a leading indicator. Now we're looking at old news. Another thing that's delayed is census results which will no doubt have very low resolution data on ethnicity and income.

By the way net migration doesn't even show the true extent of the cultural replacement as skilled kiwis leave and are replaced by taxi drivers.

"By the way net migration doesn't even show the true extent of the cultural replacement as skilled kiwis leave and are replaced by taxi drivers."

How so?
With the IDI, surely we can look at factors like that.
Just that it will have to be the work of NGOs as I have a hunch that the govt. wouldn't be too keen on getting that sort of research out there.

Cultural replacement? You mean cultural enrichment. Diversity is our strength after all.

What do you mean i was meant to subtract column A from column B? I have been adding them all this time!

I dont think they would of announced this if the new system was not proven as more accurate. So begs the question of how far back does this go? Also, where are all those 'extra' counted people?


Maybe,just maybe if they use a new climate change measuring system there will be no climate change and maybe if my ex wifes divorce lawyer uses a new calculator i may get a refund.
What sort of witch craft is this b/s.

I'm thinking it's more of a publicity stunt, by the CoL proving they have gotten immigration down, while doing nothing of the sort.

oh, got anymore? I do love a good conspiracy theory.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics NZ... Your guess is as good as ours.

What a bad f@#k up, and what is the "new immigration system" based upon please?

Probably just Arrival 'Cards". All your original intentions and any future travel ( long and short term- they'll probably be time-dependent) will be automatically collated once you're here.

"To classify a border crossing as a migrant movement, we need to observe up to 16 months of travel history. A traveller who did not live here previously is considered a long-term migrant arrival if they have spent 12 of the following 16 months in New Zealand. A traveller who previously lived in New Zealand, but who spent 12 of the next 16 months out of New Zealand is classified as a long-term migrant departure. With this new approach it takes 17 months before final migration estimates are available."

Not quite sure what to make of this. I'm definitely missing something - need to have a proper read.

For migrants that arrived in October 2018 for example, are they just guessing whether they will be here for more than 12 months? "To produce timely results, we use a statistical model to produce provisional migration estimates."

Oh look, there may not be a housing shortage, just an affordability shortage because speculative bubble.

There is a concerning amount of inaccuracies starting to emerge from Stats NZ the past 12 months or so.

Time for a costly re-brand to Prats NZ

This is not an inaccuracy but a change of method. Both methods are accurate based on what they are counting.

43,000 - oh that's not much, just a new city ever year

Why can’t Immigration count the number of Permanent Resident visas issued, and the number of 1-3 year Work Visas, etc issued as well. The international student numbers could be eliminated until any/some are granted work visas.

No MB. If they could get that data then they have would have to match it to passports of people arriving and leaving NZ. That would just cause too much accuracy in the numbers.No chance.

There you go, the new government has solved the immigration issue, done.

O dear! the 500,000 Chenise I see in Auckland are a figment of my imagination?

So Immigration or Stats are incompetent. Great. Gotta say Auckland feels like the higher number regardless of spin.

Yes Missy Chung, according to my source Jahong Kee at Land Information New Zealand anyone is a New Zealander as long as they pay tax here.

MissyChung, you sound like when you see an asian person you automatically assume they are Chinese (or as you say Chenise)

I know some people with dual citizenship arrived in NZ using one passport and left NZ with another. Immigration might count them as arrival and stayed permanently.

I don't believe you.
Typically you need to leave a country on the passport with which you entered.
That's the whole idea of a passport.

Let me tell you this.. I arrived in Dunedin on 27 Dec on a cruise ship and came on shore with our passport checked. I left Auckland back to Australia on New Year eve, no passport checked at all!

That's not using two different passports, though.
And. I don't believe you left the country without at least going through an automated passport gate.

In my case, it's even worst. I left without the country without passport.

Okay, well somehow you entered another country.
So I'd say you left the country with a passport or were in purgatory for a week at a foreign airport.

Left on cruise ship but knew where passport was, and got somebody to courier it to the next port of call would be far more likely.

Certainly is true. My own family used to have two passports and used the one that was most convenient depending where they were going. However it would be a small blip in the figures.

Yes. But you almost certainly entered and left on the same passport.
You don't enter on one, and leave on another. That's not how it works.

You do if you obtain citizenship.


But I think we can both agree that that isn't going to impact the numbers. I.e. you are going to be captured as a long termer well before you obtain a passport.

Facial Recognition is so good now that I'm not sure it matters which little book you have in your hands when you front up to the camera at immigration. "It" knows who you are and where you have been/going regardless of the passport?

nah... all asxxns look the same!

I have dual citizenship and passports.. Might try one day. I could always say "ooops, sorry, I gave you the wrong one"

The level of incompetence is simply astonishing.. how can there be such a big discrepancy in the numbers? You can’t plan a business with this level of stupidity from the statisticians. - and if the new numbers are correct t, and I presume the building consent numbers aren’t wrong too- does anyone fancy a half price new build pretty much anywhere in the country!

Indeed, it starts to look a lot like the Australian over-building situation doesn’t it? Now down -12% in Sydney and some steep discounts on new apartments already.

Indeed. If true and similar numbers of punters targeting DGZ apartments walk on their deposits like Sydney and Melbourne (so sorry- gone back to China and cant be located...) then we are heading for exactly the same mess here.

Developers will tip over, trades wont get paid, prices will be effected (downwards). Add in very likely banking lending practice changes driven from Aussie owners wanting to squeeze more profit from NZ and using increased capital requirements as a reason. Speculords will continue to use the old "put rents up", but for the first time renters sick of being the meat in a bank/specudebtor sandwich will be able to flee to heavily discounted apartments via receivership clearance.

Bulls go and load up on bargains - its all good!

So does this mean we can now start accepting more?

Perhaps this might help....

time for another working group.

That suggests the net population gain from migration may be around 27% lower than the previous data suggested.

LOL. To my mind the 'old' system of departure cards was likely more accurate, and what the 'new' number tells us is that there are around 16.600 (the difference between the old and new number) illegal, over-stayers in country.

"To my mind the 'old' system of departure cards was likely more accurate.."

Why so, Kate?

I'm not saying it isn't. It's just that the IDI data is actual outcomes based data.
The scope and accuracy of which I would actually think to be far more accurate than a hastily filled in arrival/departure card.

My opinion is in part formed via Michael Reddell's comments on immigration (and the usefulness of those departure cards);

Can't recall the exact post on it, but the above links you to all his blogs on the Immigration topic.

We are being softened up for what's to come. Once all of the obvious loopholes in the government's new student visa rules are worked out. With the help of the myriad of cash strapped tertiary institutes in New Zealand and their dodgey middleman fixers. The taps will be fully on again. Of course, 99% of those people will arrive with nothing but debt to family and loan sharks back home. So no potential home buyers among them. But plenty of fresh new tenants and low-cost workers for the landowning classes to exploit. Of course, it will be a huge surprise to everyone when it happens.

This is confusion. Its what you get when an issue is so sensitive that nobody dare debate it. Immigration today is like homosexuality 100 years ago.

Both the old and new stats are a load of rhubarb. They try to distinguish between visitor, worker, and working-holiday on the basis of 12 months = immigrant. They do everything by the point of entry/departure but ignore the changing of visa in NZ.

Can we stick to what the govt has control over rather than deducing intentions of travelers. How many issued work visas and permanent residency visas?

"Can we stick to what the govt has done and has control over rather than deducing intentions of travelers. How many work visas, how many permanent residency visas?"

We have apparently just stepped away from intentions based guesswork. And you completely miss returning Kiwis, outbound Kiwis, Australians and some Pacific Islanders that don't need to obtain visas. Measuring whether people actually stay in the country or end up leaving is the better idea. Its the implementation that might be the problem.

It depends on what your concerns are. Mine are unnecessary growth of NZ population especially without adequate infrastructure and the introduction of modern slavery to NZ via extreme exploitation of naive immigrants. So for me the gold standard would be distinguishing between immigrants that benefit NZ and those that import low wages. In other words what are their salaries - trying to do so via 'skills' is a joke.

The govt has no control over Kiwis coming and going so we can debate it but do little about it.

Well, if thats what you care about, you need a whole different sets of numbers. But then again I totally disagree with your implied premise that only highly paid immigrants are good for the country. Total permanent and long term immigration numbers are far more relevant to me, regardless of what they initially get paid when they arrive.

If you mean lots of high paid immigrants are prats who drag NZ down then you might be right.
If you mean that like me you chat to the recent immigrants making your cappuccino and find them really pleasant young people then we also agree.

However my son is an apprentice builder on minimum wage competing with the best from the 3rd world renovating houses for wealthy Kiwis.
My son-in-law is unemployed.
My daughter is a receptionist.
Why should they endure low wages and tough employment conditions competing with immigrants from the 3rd world however nice they are. If wealthy Kiwis want to help the 3rd world then send your money overseas not bring the 3rd world to NZ to supply cheap docile workers.

We are at the lowest official unemployment level since 2008.. maybe the problem is not the (new) immigrants?

The irony of the immigrant bitching about other immigrants takin our jerbs.

Enjoy the irony. Been interested in immigration ever since NZ was crazy enough to take me. I've just enjoyed a meal with my family; I am sure there are other children on this street who deserve a good meal more than mine but they were no invited. Are you fussy about who and how many you invite into your home?

Employment is defined as 1 hours work per week. Over one in eight are looking for more work.

"Over one in eight are looking for more work."

What was this figure the last time unemployment hit a low? About the same or less?

I'll take the best of the third world over anybody in your family, on the assumption that your bad attitude has rubbed off on your children. If life is so hard here head back to your own birthplace.

""Total permanent and long term immigration numbers are far more relevant to me, regardless of what they initially get paid when they arrive."" Only makes sense if you know whether your immigrants are filling those empty houses in zombie towns or poor but squeezing into Auckland city apartments or rich and buying million $ houses.
Prof Spoonley told the local U3A that retired Kiwis should be grateful that rich Chinese immigrants have boosted the value of their houses.

Again, factors I don't particularly care about. Total level is really the only figure I care much about, you can safely assume they aren't heading for Eketahuna in great numbers, and are heading for cities and larger towns where the people are, unless they loaded and are buying remote boltholes.

So why are you interested in total number? Most commenters on this site are interested in property. For that the wealth of our immigrants is important - are they squeezing into apartments or buying mansions. I'd guess both but the balance may change. Of course tthe same issue applies to the Kiwis coming and going - are we losing home owners or graduates who realise they will never own property.
Yes it is a well known fact that immigrants tend to clump together in the biggest cities; known since the 20's.

Good comments Lapun, I agree with you.

I too have family members woefully underemployed and/or with tough employment conditions.

There's a never ending line of cheap immigrants to take their places.

With just 22% of the 144,020 (31,684) people who arrived being on work visas, the accusation that foreigners are stealing jobs from kiwis looks more questionable in light of these 'revised' migration data. No doubt the 16% 'student' arrival category took some jobs but that still means a sizeable chunk of the additional 60K jobs created in 2018 were filled by NZ residents.

Given the sharp rise of 50K in employed women over 2018, 21K of these in healthcare and social services, it may indicate a sizeable backlog of non employed earlier migrants was being absorbed. With the data so dodgy who knows the real extent of migration flow change but if the inward trend really is sharply down, the latent labour pool depleted and the government reducing incentives to work, the developing labour supply crunch may be much worse than feared.

Plus the 31% from Australia, plus as you've noted, the conversions from other visa types to work visas.

Incoming kiwis/aussies balanced by outgoing. Neutral effect on issue of whether Johnny foreigner is pinching jobs off kiwis ?

Surely if 31k on work visas and say half the students work then you have identified over two thirds of the 60K jobs created in 2018. Surely in a healthy economy our own people should be doing most of the work.
The concept that the majority of low-paid jobs are held by immigrants is a failure by our govt; it results in an attack on the opportunities of those of my children who have limited qualifications.
Of course if you can convince me that those 40k new immigrant jobs were all doctors and teachers and engineers I would be happy.

'The number of people in professional occupations increased by 29,700, influenced by 17,300 more women. The largest increases for women within the professional occupation came from registered nurses and accountants'
stats nz.

and ... an increase of 10,000 in those on job seeker support benefits since the COL reduced sanctions.

The disproportionate number of women (58%) matches their participation in tertiary education.

So half the new jobs are professional and the other half presumably low-wage or 'adult entertainment'. How do the immigrants match? Are they taking the professional jobs or are they working at the supermarket checkout and fast food outlets?

With recent revelations of blatant rorting of the immigration system, little investigation of breaches and now revelations the data has been dubious for years, accuracy of the skills shortage matches with migrant's claimed 'qualifications' has to also be doubtful. Daily anecdotal observation strongly indicates the 'petroleum engineer' forecourt attendant and 'foodstuffs logistics and finance manger' checkout operator scenario is commonplace.

Business hard hit as many survived on students, who needed support with job letter ($$$$$ to employer) and was also ready to work on much less than minimum wage or no wage and long hours.

Many travel agents and takeaway/restaurents were in business of giving job letters - will and are facing hard times and may have to close some.

I have dealt with Stats NZ on business. This confirms my view that they are fairly useless. But at least they are getting better

In jurisdictions that have zoning that allows more flexibility with building out and up, then all the other issues are just noise within the system. It doesn't matter so much whether the immigration figures are high or low (our even correct), or if interest rates are high or low, or economic activity is high or low, the PIR is approx. 3 to 4.

And this is why the Price to Income Ratio (PIR) is a useful measure of true housing affordability because if the PIR is greater than 3 to 4, then it red flags there is other systematic issues with the housing market, and the research pin points the type of zoning as the most significant factor.

After all Auckland's severely unaffordable PIR of 9x has not changed just because Stats NZ has changed their counting methodology.

This is the same Government Department that still has not produced any figures from the census.
Goodness even the Romans 2000 years ago were able to do a better job than the NZ Statistics Department.

What a bunch on numpties.

There are issues happening all over the place that make you think “weak Government” ....which of course the coalition in by nature.

SO FUNNY by one roof

First predection that housing market will be flat throughout NZ and the second is that in some area where speculators were active will be down by 20% (Do they mean Auckland and Queenstown)

Can some expert explain how the market will be flat if in Auckland and Queenstown falls by 20%

Still in denial or fake propganda to suit vested interest.

Is this is a new development?

- Ashley Church is the former CEO of the Property Institute.

Note the word "former". So he is no longer paid to promote property investment?

Price and volume of sales increases in the regions. Price and volume of sales decreases in Auckland (price by 20%). Net result flat across the country.

Must admit that the person / expert is very positive.

*House price will decrease in Auckland and Queenstown (Speculators were active)
* Will take more time to sell

Still the house price will not fall.

NZ will not follow Australia (Where house prices are falling) BUT now will not even follow Auckland and Queenstown - you are correct is funny

Property projections from Ashley Church on TVNZ this morning

"What will happen over the next 12 months, I think, is that we'll see some markets around the country - including Auckland - there'll be much more dramatic drops in prices, and that could be in the order of 15-20 per cent.

"They'll tend to be in areas where there's been either high speculation or in areas where there's been strong investor activity.

"The expectation for me would be that those will be in lower socio-economic areas around the country where there's been strong investor activity, and a lot of speculation. There'll be some variations to that, look for some big drops, against the background across the country of flat median prices."

Propaganda by a government that promised voters to reduce immigration and didn't!

Has this drop been reported in the main stream media? Just checked The Herald and Stuff but can’t see anything.

Has this drop been reported in the main stream media? Just checked The Herald and Stuff but can’t see anything.

NZ used to be near the top of the OECD. Now we can't even count the number of people entering and leaving the country. FFS.

I'm not surprised Davo36, we cannot do anything right in this country. If you want it done right you have to do it yourself, its always been the same.

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