August could have been a turning point for migration-driven population growth

The huge surge in net migration that has occurred over the last four years may finally have peaked.

The most recent Statistics NZ figures show that migration provided a net population gain of 5120 in August, down from 6547 in July.

However that on its own is not particularly significant because migration follows seasonal patterns, and August’s figures are usually lower than July’s.

What was significant was that August’s net gain of 5120 was below the August 2016 gain of 5450.

There is only one other month in the last 12 when the latest net gain figure has been below the corresponding figure for the same month a year earlier, and that was in April  and the difference then was just -47 (-1.4%,) so its wasn’t hugely significant.

But the difference between August this year and August last year was a more significant -330 (-6.1%).

Coming off the back of a period when the rate of growth in net migration has been slowing, August’s figures suggest growth may finally have peaked.

However one month’s figures do not make a trend.

It is too early to say whether August’s figures mark a plateauing of net migration, the start of a decline, or were just a blip before the net gain continues to creep up again.

It will probably be around the end of the year before a clearer picture emerges.

But the figures do suggest some volatility in the mix of who is coming to this country on a permanent or long term basis and who is leaving.

Most of the change in the August figures was driven by fewer New Zealand citizens returning to this country on a permanent or long term basis (2431 in August 2017 v 2709 in August 2016) and an increase in the number of New Zealanders departing these shores permanently or long term (2761 in August 2017 v 2687 in August 2016).

The number of non-New Zealand citizens arriving here permanently or long term continued to increase in August compared to August last year, but the increase was more or less balanced out by a corresponding increase in the number of non-New Zealand citizens that departed long term.

So changes are afoot in the mix of who is moving to this country permanently and who is leaving.

While it’s still too early to say with any certainty where that might be heading, the fact remains that the annual gain is still huge, at more than 72,000 in the 12 months to the end of August, and the pressure that is putting on basic infrastructure such as housing, transport, health and education services, is unrelenting.

Net long term migration

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This is fundamentally good news , even though there is scaremongering about it causing a downturn.

The reality is we need a breather to get on top of some of our infrastructure and housing issues before we open the gates again


We havent closed the gates. There is still the same number of foreign immigrants coming in, its just that citizens are being forced to leave their own country (or not return) in order to get ahead. Replacing skilled and qualified New Zealanders with low skilled people from the third world is hardly good for the long term advancement of this country.

Replacing NZ workers with cheaper foreigners is cornerstone National policy
E CON comic prosperity by way of PONZI is National all the way
Good luck if they get a 4th term because they’ll screw up the country even more


The seeds are in the ground. The vote farm will yield huge crops come vote time. As National's rich boomers die off the immigrant votes are there to replace them. And kiwis? Who cares about that minority.


Has all that net migration improved our standard of living?

If not, what was the point of it?


@Brock Landers , I would suggest that Immigration HAS improved our living standards.

Quite apart from staggering cumulative GDP growth in the past 18 years , we have numerous Doctors, dentists , eye surgeons , gynaecologists, nurses, radiologists teachers, civil Engineers, electicial engineers , chemical engineers , Chartered Accountants , architechts , land surveyors , town planners and all manner of skilled professionals now living here from place like The Phillipines , the UK , South Africa and the US , not to mention Computer skilled folk from India , financiers from China and Hong Kong , etc etc

They all able to find work , earn substantial salaries , pay tax and add to our GDP .

and lets not forget the Uber drivers........

Plus Taxi Drivers and Milk Bar proprietors


Why did you only refer to Gross GDP which obviously grows by adding more people, while failing to mention GDP per person which hasn't grown


And native born professions are forced to rent rooms in share houses, can't dream of having families, the environment is being trashed, schools and hospitals are overflowing and our roads are gridlocked.

Oh but GDP is up (just don't talk about per capita). Immigration of genuinely skilled professionals that we actually need is all well and good. But not the bottom of the barrel mass immigration we've seen destroy the quality of life here.

Hasn’t GDP per capital been growing every year for the last few years?


A proliferation of $2 shops and Thai massage parlours.

All the empty acrylic nail bars anybody could want.

The point of it ?
Migrants bring in foreign exchange which reduces the need of government to borrow
This all works until the need to improve and expand infrastructure to meet the higher population demand requires ?? More borrowing
The whole National policy has been to get foreign exchange flowing into the country and to heck with destroying the locals standard of living
It did result in National Party heads selling their homes for record prices
and I cannot say I did not do the same but I’m not in government with responsibility to a country like National was supposed to have


So more kiwis are leaving less kiwis are returning and foreign arrivals continues to increase.

That's actually a pretty sad state of affairs

Even if the net were zero we're still swapping kiwis for foreigners. What are the *real* numbers again? Something like 132,000 come in? But what about all the temporary visas and annoying tourists?

If there were a simple in/out turnstile counter at the airport what would the numbers be I wonder?

Well, if its a Labour/NZF/Greens Govt I fully expect New Zealanders to resume moving to Australia, certainly won't be anything worth sticking around here for. I guess that's one way to solve the housing crisis.

I hear Ettamogah is nice this time of year


Yep, more houses, cleaner rivers, less inequality, less speculation, less immigration. What a horrible thought. Give me an economy based on a solid foundation of speculation and overcrowding (both people and cows) any day, so long as my rentals keep going up in price, right?

Labours 1970's compulsory unionism policy will hasten departures to Australia and the US. Hopefully Winston will put the brakes on such lunacy.

Can you please provide the link to the information that compulsory unionism will be re-introduced by Labour. I have had a bit of a search and I can't find anything about it, thank you.

PAID for - Nats must be just about broke under English

Wondering how much they paid Bolger to come out of mothballs to throw the Greens hand-grenade

Is that the boy from Palmy ?
Del the scrapyard calls