NZ is gaining just over 50,000 people a year from migration, down 20% compared to three years ago

NZ is gaining just over 50,000 people a year from migration, down 20% compared to three years ago

Population growth from migration seems to have settled at around 50,000 a year.

The latest figures from Statistics NZ show an estimated net gain (the excess of long term arrivals over long term departures) of 50,541 in the 12 months to the end of May, up by 1.2% compared to the the net gain of 49,903 in the 12 months to May last year.

However that was down 20% from the peak of 63,145 in the year to May 2016.

Statistics NZ estimated that 144,919 people arrived in this country long term in the year to May, up 4.3% compared to the previous 12 months, while 94,378 people departed long term, up 6.0% on the previous 12 months.

In the 12 months to May, 46,968 New Zealand citizens left the country long term, while 34,621 arrived back in the country after an extended absence, giving a net loss of 12,347 New Zealand citizens over the year.

At the same time, 110,298 non-New Zealand citizens arrived in the country long term, while 47,410 departed long term, giving a net gain of 62,888 non-New Zealand citizens for the year.

The biggest source country for new arrivals in the 12 months to May was China, with 17,426 from that country and another 1037 from Hong Kong, followed by India 13,106, Australia 8680, South Africa 8451, Philippines 8128 and UK 7118.

Of the 144,919 people in total who arrived long term, the biggest group (43,301) were New Zealand or Australian citizens, followed by people on work visas 31,656, visitor visas 30,389, student visas 25,429, and residency visas 13,008.

Statistics NZ population indicators manager Tehseen Islam, said net migration had remained high since 2014 and had peaked in 2016.

"Over the past four calendar years, 224,000 more people came to New Zealand than departed," he said.

"That's equivalent to the population of Wellington City, or about 150 more people every day."

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I'll just leave this here

Edit: cheers Nzdan for working link below

Your link doesn't work.

Try this?


I assume the latest migration statistics are valid?? Is Statistics NZ getting its house back in order??

If so, there's a clear upward price stimulus now apparent for the housing market......

Continuing falls in bank lending rates combined with demographic/immigration pressures means there's the distinct possibility of a significant lift in house prices by year's end.



Your clear upward price stimulus has been there for the last 3 years while Auckland prices have gone sideways - do you think it's different now? There are other factors at play which seem to be cancelling out the influence of immigration.


Given that very few of these PLTs will be able to purchase property and very many will be living in workhouse like environments, I don't expect much stimulus to be occurring.

I could be wrong though. But the incidence of foreign workers turning up to job sites on chartered buses seems to reinforce my bias that increasing population is just resulting in increased density, and not manifesting in price growth.

well Auckland needs more taxi drivers too, especially as we have Ola now

Has Didi arrived in Auckland yet?

I can't see this as anything more than a road hazard.. how is the driver supposed to be able to see if he has three phones plastered across the dash.. one for Uber, one for whatever taxi company he works for, and now one for Ola..

Well they only need one phone with three apps.

Do you have a phone for every app you use ... ?

Last Uber I was in was definately running two phones, one for Uber and I assumed the other one for another rideshare app. Maybe some apps don't play nice.

Auckland rental yield is showing early signs of growth and in 18 months may be making similar returns to Hamilton/Tauranga (where yields are reducing). Absent any external event Auckland is becoming more and more likely to rise.

I doubt it.
Rental yields are simply adjusting to the lower expected future capital gains.
Increases in immigration just don't translate to increases in regional house price growth - They never have. Plus land values are only going in one direction at the fringe relieving pressure from high density at the centre.
Like I said, pressure will be on density increases and although this may translate to higher yields, it is unlikely to translate into materially higher prices.

Hi mfd,

The Auckland market has remained flat for approaching three years but it won't remain flat forever - the tide always turns.........

Despite what you may believe, bank lending rates and demographic pressures remain key determinants of housing market activity and prices.

For sure, there are other factors at play, including the government's backdown on CGT - which is providing a boost to investor confidence.


Yes, the tide will turn. I'm just not sure that the story 'migration is about the same as it has been for a year, and lower than before that' is quite the kick up the arse it needs to get going again. Same story with interest rates, they've essentially been falling for the last decade, this is not a new stimulus. It could be a long wait until inflation catches up with Auckland prices and there's enough ammunition in the economy to get things going again.

But really, who knows. Normal rules apply, diversify and make sure you're not so exposed to one market it could wipe you out if something unforeseen happens.

Tide always turns...correct , except its slack tide now, about to go out

The tide will only turn if the RBNZ does everything it can stimulate the housing market again, expanding the private debt bubble even further (with more FHBs buying highly inflated housing). Why kick the can down the road? Because they’re in too deep and don’t see an alternative now? That certainly seems to be the case in Australia.

I fail to see what the point is?

Correlation is not causation. And by that plot there is not much to suggest a definitive pattern of causation..

There is strong correlation but to me that graph almost disproves causation. House price both leads and lags immigration. If house prices fall the immigration falloff could easily lag by a year or two.

Is it that when the economy is booming more immigrants want to come....

Likely more to do with the relaxation of what we classify as 'skilled' professions.
It's not by coincidence that in 2014 the number of professional 'managers' in our industry statistics skyrocketed..

Obviously, kiwis aren't skilled enough to manage a corner dairy.

They are skilled alright,they just don't want to work long hours,7 days a week especially when the rugger is on and it's just as easy to make the same amount of money from a rental.

They lack the skill of accepting ever lower wages and ever greater demands from restaurateurs too.

The more worrisome piece of information is the non-recorded occupation category - to which, almost 150k work visas (68%) were issued in 2018-19.
These include visas issued to post-study workers, partners, holidaymakers, refugees, etc.
Basically, we have very limited knowledge on whether two-thirds of our migrant workers possess any "skill" whatsoever.

To your point, I doubt a significant number of the low-skilled migrants coming to NZ are smart enough to understand how our economic machinery works or can estimate what phase of the business cycle we are in.
I am not typecasting the entire migrant community; I know many are exceptionally talented.
However, there are thousands who can't even performance due diligence; most of which involves a simple internet search. These are the ones who fall prey to fraudulent agents back in their countries, get talked into spending upwards of 20k for business and commerce courses at shoddy private institutions and then blame the system in NZ when the entire scam blows up.

did you not attempt to overlay it with the number of houses being built ..


Hope you love what the Key govt created for you
A giant Ponzi immigration scheme that’s changed NZs lifestyle forever
Speaking to tourists who’ve recently visited Auckland who thought 95% were Chinese !
I’m sure the CCP are very happy with their mass migrant plans & it’s only a matter of time before CCP
members enter the NZ parliamentary system in numbers enough to sway votes & policies pro CCP

Am assuming you are being facetious? There are at least two in parliament right now.... They are doing “United Front work” for the PRC. Before I am banned and this is deleted, goggle (yes i know) it. There are a number of top NZ academics that name them. Failure to accept this as fact, is what Margaret Heffernan calls, “wilful blindness” (she writes a good book too). A wee bit of research will prove those academics and myself, absolutely positively correct.
Have a happy week....

Can we trust those figures since it is just estimated? is it -/+ 20000?

These numbers will be revised down (is it after 1 year), when they can confirm that a PLT has actually left prior to the stated number of days that defines a visitor as PLT..

My first thought, too. After all, the change in arrivals/departures recording, plus Statistics' woeful 2018 Census, tell me that their 'figures' are about as plausible as Chinese 'data'....

50,000 legal migrants when judged by per capita is far more than the numbers taken by UK and USA where immigration is a significant political issue. So your -/+ 20,000 is barely relevant.

Only fools & horses would believe immigration figures Fed to them by a government keen to be seen as doing something about high immigration numbers

Still historically consistently high.
On an assumption that a large promotion will be staying in Auckland, that will continue to put pressure on housing demand. Assuming if only 40,000 reside in Auckland, that will be in the order of up to 10,000 house whether they be purchased or rented. How many new house were added to the Auckland stock in past year as reported recently? From memory about the same so any additional housing- and consequently supply price pressure on housing - is at best likely to remain consistent.


doesnt matter! its all about how many people you can jam into a house, thats why fringe suburbs have cars overflowing onto lawns and no parking left on the streets

I am chuckling.....are we fooling ourselves?
Change the calculating formula and this Govt looks as if they have done what they promised.
Yeah right!?

Let's use the "old" original formula and let's see the result??

Interesting that 6% have left on last year, while 4.3% entered...

Hi Greg, is there a reason why some of the data stops at October 2018? Almost a year out of date. regards

Under the main graph there's a slide bar which allows you to select a longer time period.

A growing population in a world that fewer of us, not more, is nothing to crow about

I hired 2 dev and 1 PO during past 9 months. 1 Chinese, 1 Kiwi and 1 Indian (who is the PO). It took us 3 months to get this indian fella. There has been a consistent skill shortage on the ICT market especially when looking for doers. There are a lot of people looking for work but most of them don't really know their stuff. If you really want to blame someone, don't just blame immigrants, blame the immigration system too. It is not effective.

Winston wanted to reduce immigration massively, Someone will know what he was planning to Limit it to?
Just another total failure to what this coalition government said they would do!
Reduce child poverty, all that has Happened is far more people getting handouts and being put up in motels!
Is there really any voters that think they are doing a reasonable job of governing?
There surely can not be, they are totally inept.
To be fair Jacinda is very good at going missing in action along with Kelvin and Winnie

You are right. INZ make it hard for honest quality immigrants to get in. Of course if you do not have a special skill you can take your time and wait for our worst bureaucracy to proceed in its snail like pace. If those 200,000 new immigrants in the last 4 years were all exceptionally skilled then NZ's exports would be booming and our GDP per capita beginning to catch up the countries that have whizzed past us.

I don't think anyone blames the immigrants, we just want the numbers reduced, and the immigrants to be highly skilled, with real skills. Not waiters in a restaurant, or some chef that can whip up a meal in your local takeaway, or people that pump gas.

Is it me or our burgers rubbish nowadays, they use to be amazing, now they are soggy.

Swapacrate is right about the burgers. Best ever were 2am Sunday 1969, Dominion Road. 25 Cents, crispy toasted and very fresh bun. Real veges, tomato, lettuce and onion.
Downhill ever since.


12300 NZers left... watch this figure grow. Double the wages, half the costs in Aussie... just filled up my car in Perth... $1.22 per litre for gas. $190 for a full weeks shopping (family of 5) vs $450 in NZ! $300k brand new 4 x 2 house!! NZ will lose its younger generations as there is no way you can save 20% for a deposit on $70-80k per year with a family...

you did your Due Diligence, unlike others ..

Jacinda is going to make everything right in NZ, that is why the lefties all voted for the loser parties!


They have brought in the foreign buyers ban. Old John Key wouldn't have been able to sell his house for 20 mill, if this ban was in place, when he sold. Funny how where he goes there is always someone scamming the system.


Time to check the important figure: permanent residency.
For year ending Jun:
2019 34,476
2018 37,947
2017 47,685
So we are moving in a more sensible direction. Get those figures to about 15k per year and we would be like other OECD countries.
But it is not the quantity, it is the quality that matters. There is only one serious way of judging quality: what are they paid! And that figure is kept secret - just maybe those 'skilled' migrants are not all earning over $100k pa.

At a salary threshold of 100k, I can assure you the number is going to drop far below 15k. The 50% drop we are already witnessing in SMC applications is due to the Nats tying this threshold to the median wage in NZ, which at the time was less than 48k.
Such a high threshold would only benefit IT workers and finance professionals while leaving out the thousands of science researchers and medical workers who don't usually make 6-figures in the first 20 years of their careers but contribute a great deal to our economy.

I believe the UK sets a salary limit and adjust it so they can hit a target. They also adjust the limit depending on the type of work and I suspect medical researchers have a limit that encorages them whereas chefs, bakers, tourist guides, bus drivers, retail managers etc have to earn somewhere near that $100,000. But a great chef or retail manager can be worth it.

At least it is going in the right direction.

Perhaps if the binge on cheap, exploitable imported labour can be left behind then older New Zealanders can have the opportunity to once again secure part time work when they need it to get by. Used to be pretty common place.

$100K lower salary immigration limit. That would be good.

Very interesting. I for one wouldn't put too much faith in SNZ's analysis as we know they have systemic issues. On the face of it I am noticing a lot more New Zealand accents at my local pizza bar and supermarket so I'll assume the low quality immigrant free for all of the past 5 years is over now?

Excellent! more renters... and NZ just gets cleaner and greener with every suburb added.

50,000 still ! Bugger. Lets make it net zero. Only way to save our country and in turn the planet.


Unvoted for & way over anybodies expectations, immigration has changed Auckland's culture beyond recognition within a generation. In another generation all the big cities will have totally multi-cultural populations for better & for worse. I know we're not having enough educated babies, I know that a large part of the bottom part of our society doesn't want (know how) to work & I know someone's got to pay the superannuation checks for the next 20 years, so I can only hope that whoever is responsible for this mass importation of people from all sorts of far away places has got it right, because if they haven't, we're f......d!

Well said.

Eff off - we're full!

I wonder what number of Chinese living in New Zealand still have contact with the Communist Party of China?


Ask the one in the national party caucus...he used to train spies for the party!

Some Chinese immigrants hate the CCP and then again surely some are spies. I expect some Kiwis in China are paid to collect information too. Fairly easy to identify Chinese spies - they are mainly found in those with an interest in politics and making generous political donations. Am I just being patriotic to think we have a bigger espionage problem than China?