Net migration gain of 41,479 in the 12 months to November, down from 62,407 three years ago

Net migration gain of 41,479 in the 12 months to November, down from 62,407 three years ago

Population growth from migration has declined by a third over the last three years, according to the latest figures from Statistics NZ.

These show that that the net gain (long term arrivals minus long term departures) from migration peaked at 62,407 in the 12 months to November 2016, and then declined over each of the following three years to 41,479 in the 12 months to November 2019, down 33.5%.

The decline has mainly been caused by an increase in the number of people leaving the country long term and a smaller decrease in those arriving long term.

In the 12 months to November 2016 there were 145,391 long term arrivals, which declined steadily to 137,000 in the 12 months to November 2019 (-5.8%), while the number of long term departures increased from 82,984 to 95,521 (+15.1%) over the same period.

New Zealand citizens travelling long term were by far the biggest group for both long term arrivals and departures, with 34,742 arriving back in the country after an extended stay overseas while 43,504 departed long term, giving a net loss 8762 New Zealand citizens.

Making up for that was a net gain of 50,241 non-New Zealand citizens, with the biggest source countries being South Africa 10,617, India 7186, The Philippines 6810, China and Hong Kong 3499, Australia 2747 and Samoa 2126.

By visa category the biggest group of arrivals were Australian and New Zealand citizens 41,626 (30.4% of all long term arrivals), followed by those on work visas 32,715 (23.9%), long term visitor visas 25,225 (18.4%), student visas 24,220 (17.7%) and residency visas 11,997 (8.8%).

However, the latest figures are estimates and may be subject to revision because under the system of gathering migration information that Statistics NZ uses, it takes 17 months before migration figures are finalised.

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Native kiwis being driven out and replaced.

I wouldn't get too wound up about Native Kiwis leaving - I'd be more interested to know what the quality of migrants leaving NZ is vs. the ones we are importing. If we're going to be taking on more people than we can house ad infinitum then we better at least be replacing the skillsets and tax base we are losing.

GV27. Might be an indication in NZ's stagnant per capita productivity that we are indeed barely 'replacing the skillsets of those we are losing'.

Happy to share given the anonymity. Qualified accountant, graduated 10 years ago from Otago. During that time I lived in Melbourne, Toronto, London. Came back to NZ 2018, left 2019.

Was on good money overseas. Management positions. I was prepared for the pay cut coming back to NZ but was really offput by how much that was, and what the scope of work typically was in these roles. After working in tech companies, concert promoters and sports overseas I was looking at concrete companies, local engineering firms or being some cubicled cog at Fonterra in NZ. For a career focussed person, it's depressing. Even with money aside, NZ lacks compared to other nations.

Money just drives the point home that you're stupid to stay. Left NZ with $140k being the best I got offered, got a job in Sydney 6 days later for $210k plus bonuses and some amazing perks.

Am I in a utopia? No. Is everything better? No. Is the weather unbearable? No. As a whole however, the quality of life, the opportunities available and my outlook on life is a lot more positive here in Australia than when I was in NZ.

Thanks for sharing this. I have a few friends moved to Aussie last year, and im also considering it. I'm a first gen immigrant, I graduated from auckland uni in 2008, and have worked in digital product ownership space since then. For my kind of work, $130k is the cap, and i have been stuck with it for almost 3 years. In general, I feel NZ doesn't offer enough opportunities for millennials. It's good to know the challenge im facing applies to natives too.

Another prediction that the scoundrel"BuyHighSellLow" nailed.

Interesting. Do we just ignore December as a month, now?

It is the 12 months to November, so unless there was an exceptional inflow/outflow in December 2019 (i.e. December 2018 much different to December 2019), it is going to be pretty much spot on. Even if these numbers aren't inclusive of November 2019, still looking to be bang on.

It is the 12 months to November
Yes. Exactly.
Your prediction was for 2020, which normally implies the 12 months from January to November.
Wait another month before you pat yourself on the back. However, many of your other predictions for 2020 can be debunked, if ya want to go ahead and do that...

Firstly, they are BHSL's predictions, not mine. Secondly, the prediction was for net migration for the 12 months of 2019. He made heaps of predictions, so you can't expect all of them to be correct, but anyone that took his Infratil and A2 Milk buy recommendations would be very happy today.

And anyone who took your Air NZ buy advice or your Auckland Airport sell advice would be very unhappy today.

2 from 4 - no better than a coin flip.

Trust me, he is well up with infratil and A2 offsetting the rest. Anyone that took all his recommendations would be up too.

Stop being so petty Nymad, just admit that BLSH's predictions were really good

Love that Infratil, Tilt is looking pretty handy....


If you believe anything coming out of this part of the swamp, especially after a change with the methodology of how they calculate everything, then we are all bigger fools than they are. What we see above is a govt spin press release, poorly questioned by any media reprinting it, and reinforcing (sadly) that the demise of journalism in the media is both widespread & still ongoing. Come on you're better than this.

Spot on

That's still a net gain of a small city in NZ. Where are there people being housed? What is the net gain in houses for the year? Unless there are enough new houses being created to house them in,we shouldn't be allowing anyone in, because we don't even hove enough houses for people already here.

Attended a Sustainable NZ Party roadshow meeting recently to hear their views on things....someone asked about high immigration, and they weren't against it. Follow up question was about the housing situation caused by the immigration, their answer was to have intensification that didn't look ugly. Sustainable??

Sour grapes from a ticked off Vernon Tava, rejected for leader of the Greens, he's been like that ever since


Sustainable NZ is worse than useless. Sustainable Australia's main focus is reducing rapid population growth

"small city in NZ."
Around 1000 ha or more of suitable land needed at 400sqm sections and 2.5 people /home plus roads shops schools etc.

"However, the latest figures are estimates and may be subject to revision because under the system of gathering migration information that Statistics NZ uses, it takes 17 months before migration figures are finalised."

What the heck, everything you mention is just meaningless dribble then.

It takes a long time for people arriving to be countable as immigrants - they often don't know themselves what they will do when they arrive - people can chose to stay or leave for all sorts for reasons. So we can't count them as permanent immigrants for some time.

So we can't count them as permanent immigrants for some time.

OK, then the data is at least retrospective and directional in nature. Just as long as those looking at the data are aware of its weakenesses.

Stats NZ said in the same release that the final number could be +/- 1600.

I think we should just simplify. Start with just straight in v out.

After all, it is the amount of people in the country at any given time that are using the resources/facilities.

We may be gaining 50k a year. But on any given day it is highly likely we have another 10-15k. All using the roads, hospitals, sewerage, etc...

Too little too late. If you can believe the figures, which are subject to "revision". So basically pointless!

No mention of the change of the way they do the counting.

I think the 62,407 was under the old method and the 41,479 is under the new method. So there might not be any drop at all.

A while back the China and HK total was top at about 10000. What happened? No wonder central Auckland ap sales down so much

Assuming it's Chinese and HK people buying the apartments. Other ethnic groups might like them too?

I mentioned buying an apartment to a wealthy ethnic Chinese friend and she said having been brought up in poverty in a Hong Kong apartment there was no way she would ever move into an apartment.

Good point. I suspect most migrants don't move half way around the world with the ambition to stay in an apartment for the rest of their lives. Hence why if we keep up the mass migration we are destined to cover up more and more productive land with asphalt, concrete and ticky-tack.

I have been speaking to a sales consultants for apartments in Auckland and most have been sold to Chinese so the facts don't' back up your statement.

A wealthy HK Chinese vs. mainland Chinese with experience of massive apartment capital gains in Shenzen, Shanghai etc., perhaps?

Place to live -v- investment

Go the Saffas!

And yet another immigration article in the property section.

So are we to conclude that Labour and NZ First have fulfilled their election campaign pledges to slash immigration, even if by doing nothing in particular?
It's very convenient as an election year begins that suddenly they appear to have been on the side of the angels all along. In fact, it would be unbelievable that a govt department could offer such unreliable figures if we hadn't had the Census debacle...

They effectively achieved their target by increasing the number of long term departures by 15%. In other words, we've had our talent run off overseas.

GrahamA. An excellent conspiracy theory but given the omnishambles the coalition have made of creating and deploying too many policies I suggest it'd be well beyond their capability to conceive let alone engineer a sophisticated charade to manipulate immigration data.

Middleman, I agree entirely that the Coalition would not be up to the task of engineering a sophisticated charade. My point is that such a conspiracy theory might just be credible if Stats had a record of being efficient and accurate, in which case getting the figures so wrong would be astonishing and there might be reason to be suspicious. But given the Census shambles, who could be surprised that they don't have anything resembling a firm fix on migration numbers?

While in conspiracy mode, I've been intrigued at Winstons uncharacteristic zen like mode when confronted with the mounting migration that he promised but apparently failed to moderate, his famously cantankerous belligerence strangely muted. Which leads me to suspect he and his coalition of transparency have been well aware for a long time that migration flow numbers provided by stats were not only suspect but likely to be wildly inaccurate and overstated by the tens of thousands.

I do remember in one interview about immigration a year ago Peters said confidently that numbers would come down. But that supposes he and the other members of govt knew something that Stats NZ apparently didn't. It's hard to see where that info might come from.
Even Grant Robertson after Treasury's Half Year update last September said Treasury's predictions of net immigration coming down to 35,000 by the end of the 2024 year were too low and he was confident they would stay around 50k, "where they are at the moment".

2 words - "Brain Drain".

Kiwis have started leaving the country again, after spending 10 years since the GFC moving home.......

A major cause of the increase in net migration was kiwis staying or returning here, as the inbound migrants had lifted but not that much, now it seems like the pendulum has swung. Either they don't like what they see here, or they like more what they see overseas again now 10yrs after the GFC.

Its interesting that South Africans make up almost more than China , Hong Kong and India COMBINED !

Boatman. Higher ppn of Saffas no bad thing in my view. I'll be labelled a dastardly racist no doubt but (a) the joy of being an older fart is that I don't care and (b) I think a case can be made that they integrate better than some other ethnicities.

I agree, at least they integrate well are hard working and like rugby!

Statistics NZ... Sooo about maybe 40 to 50 thousand people perhaps, know more in 17 months.
That is still too many.. But keep those guesses coming, the media love it.

With 37,000 extra people on welfare since Winston appointed the coalition to govern, we have to find people from somewhere to fill the gaps.

So 37,000 extra people on welfare and the answer is... import more people?

Camel'sB. Yep, increasing welfare dependency allows you to maintain the grand social experiment of radically and forever changing the culture of the country through mass migration. You even have the fiendish right wing business lobby on your side bleating that they can't find enough workers locally. No need for a mandate from the people.

Kia ora

Again I say the fabric on New Zealand society is changing. When did the K(iwi) people sign off on this?

To quote Peter Hitchen "The Society we grew up in is unrecognizable".

Nga mihi