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The number of people in this country on work visas sank by almost 28,000 between March and November

The number of people in this country on work visas sank by almost 28,000 between March and November

The number of people in New Zealand on work, student or recent residence* visas declined by 53,529 between the end of March and the end of November, according to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

The number of people in the country on the three classes of visa was at an all time high of 493,950 at the end of March, but that number has declined in every month since to 440,420 at the end of November, down 10.8% over eight months.

The biggest decline was in the number of people on work visas, which dropped by 27,858, from a record 221,250 in March to 193,392 in November (-12.6%).

Student visa numbers dropped by 17,252, from 81,969 in March to 64,707 in November (-21.1%).

The all time high for people in the country on student visas was 86,061, set in October last year.

New student visa approvals are down by almost 90% compared to a year ago.

In the eight months from April to November just 3678 first time student visas were approved, down by 28,962 (-89%) from the 32,640 approved in the same eight month period of last year.

There has also been a slight decline in the population of people on recent residence* visas.

These are classified as people who have had a residence visa* for up to five years.

Their numbers dropped by 8409 from 190,731 in March to 182,322 in November, a more modest decline of 4.4%.

After five years MBIE stops counting them.

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40 Comments

18
up

Great.

Great if that 10.8% reduction applies to low paid immigrants who compete with low paid Kiwis for jobs and accommodation and congest our over-stretched infrastructure: roads, hospitals, schools. But what if that 10.8% are the doctors, teachers and engineers that NZ needs and is unable or unwilling to produce?

31
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We produce plenty of teacheres and engineers each year. We just don't pay them enough to get by in NZ so they leave.

Australia, Hong Kong, UAE. That's where they often end up.

A lot of those low paid jobs are for instance teachers, from which we have a very concerning shortage.

22
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..the shortage due to mass immigration. As are most of our problems.

Data to support this claim will be very hard to find.

Common sense is all that is needed to support this claim.

11
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"low paid" and "shortage"...self-explanatory really. It's remarkable how our labour market seems to be a direct inversion of our housing market.

While we have built mechanisms around the housing market to keep the prices up, those which already existed to guarantee proper pay and labor conditions were removed by the neoliberal revolution.

It's not a problem Lapun. But a task to do which our governments ignore.
1. Set a desired population limit.
2. Identify skill and workforce needs and build that capacity amongst New Zealanders. 100 year approach.
3. Structure for full participation of our citizens rather than emarginalisation of many as we do now.
4. Some industries will change. But why have those that can't afford to pay good incomes.

18
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That's right. Our visa settings aren't exactly the reasons skilled engineers, teachers and doctors leave NZ; living standards, limited opportunities and low wages compared to other Western countries are.

We desperately need to shake off our delusion that we're competing with popular migrant destinations for top global talent.
The reality is even our most celebrated are mediocre by global standards, making us net consumers of knowledge & tech.
Also, if our universities were so good, international students would compete for seats in them (GRE, GMAT) instead of just proving they have a high school diploma and can read, write & understand English.

Yes, what all the politics could not do Corona has done in a year. Hopefully, NZ can learn to live with less migrants and strengthen local resources and focus on developing the skills of people already here.

""After five years MBIE stops counting them."" Is this because they become entitled to apply for citizenship?

20
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Good news it's heading in the right direction. But those are still very minor drops
How do we get New Zealand's population down below Five Million and how do we keep it there?

A new govt policy. Maybe related to our climate emergency legislation?

15
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Unfortunately, there have been no changes to our migration settings that suggests lower migration (or negative) is here to stay.

On the contrary, NZ Treasury expects net migration to hit 43k a year by 2025.
If this is anything like their previous migration estimates, the actual numbers are likely to be much higher; lower population estimates allows pollies and bureaucrats to defer capital investment decisions until we reach crisis levels of shortage.

12
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Down. Finally.

14
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I wondered why ANZ were getting so nervous...investors pilling into rentals when there's a reduction in population for the foreseeable future, good luck with that.

Purely just on daily current arrivals and departures, more people leaving than arriving.
Very early days on the Vac effectiveness so NZ will be closed for many months to come.
(With NZ elimination eradication strategy means that no COVID in the community is acceptable going forward)
Watch this space on how they manage this going forward even if people coming into the country have been Vaccinated

I wondered why ANZ were getting so nervous...investors pilling into rentals when there's a reduction in population for the foreseeable future, good luck with that.

24
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Great news but the damage of mass immigration policy of the last 15 years has already well and truly stuffed NZ. Dont worry post covoid the tap to immigration will be full on gushing again.

Yeap. We now need to pay billions to improve and increase infrastructure, and catch up on housing. It it stupid IMO to be increasing our population by the size of a city each year, and not have enough houses for people already living here. It is one of the contributors to the NZ housing disaster IMO

IMO Covid has shown that we don't need to be importing people. I suspect with he borders reopen, we may have a brain drain again if we weren't importing new people, but this can be controlled by only importing the same skills of people we are losing.

Yeap. We now need to pay billions to improve and increase infrastructure, and catch up on housing. It it stupid IMO to be increasing our population by the size of a city each year, and not have enough houses for people already living here. It is one of the contributors to the NZ housing disaster IMO

IMO Covid has shown that we don't need to be importing people. I suspect with he borders reopen, we may have a brain drain again if we weren't importing new people, but this can be controlled by only importing the same skills of people we are losing.

FHBrs whose dreams have been shattered by NZs reckless immigration policies finally have a glimmer of hope. Most will however be restrained in expressing any reservation about the flood of low quality migration into this country given the prevailing pro migration narrative that is pushed by much of our media. Easier and less morally challenging to scapegoat the stereotypical white male boomer property investor.

26
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Good. No more immigrants. We are full and have enough problems to deal with.

16
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Couldn't agree more.

17
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Let’s hope the powers that be end the student work visa rort. One year rubbish course as a pathway to residency? I’ve got inside knowledge of some of these courses and they are a total scam run by very corrupt people.

A one year tertiary course on how to upsell some coke and ice with that bottle of JD. Or a two year course on driving a taxi or using a 3 step ladder to pick fruit.

Love your work.

Anyone with any ambitions or aspirations would leave the country immediately when an opportunity arises when he realise that he alone cannot change the narcissistic-tall poppy syndrome of the nation.

People with money and value life style will gradually shift to NZ, those younger and chasing “higher paid job” will leave NZ.
Plenty YouTube videos promoting “moving to NZ”. Interesting watch.

https://youtu.be/aspztcDNlw0

You mean the drain drain. I recall National got voted in with the drain drain as one of the big issues, and it appears their way to solve this was to increase migration, so we got a lot of skilled overseas people coming into NZ to replace those skilled people leaving. It only causes a problem when there is no planning on what the the numbers per year should be, and what population does the public want NZ to become.

Let us hope that the people that have the power to change the immigration settings now see no option but to become involved in detailed debate and open discussion about what levels of immigration are optimal.

The media didn't really bring it up in the debates. Likewise they only glossed over the housing crisis. When the housing crisis was really the big problem they should have been pinning the government down on. But the mainstream media in NZ does seem to control the narrative of how elections go. IMO the media had a lot to do with Little being rolled in before the previous election and Labour getting in due to a new fresh leader. When National under English were probably a shoe in, if he was only up against Little, who didn't seem to be PM material.

Immigration into Western countries is not just about economics and I doubt the project is anywhere near complete yet. I predict there will be a larger number of people coming in from Africa over the next decade either as refugees or legitimate migrants. There will be a push to intensify diversity especially in NZ, Australia and Canada.

Zachary... and amazingly enough it sounds like you and many others do not see a very serious problem with this? Personally I am (just) OK with our UN quota of 1500 per year but why we would throw our struggling kiwis under the bus by allowing a large number (70K PA, WTF) to come in from Africa or anywhere else is beyond me. By maintaining our current immigration policies we are throwing our poor under the bus in order to assist migrants to whom we owe absolutely nothing. Until the Govt addresses immigration (and the housing problem (which are both inextricably linked) it cannot claim to really care about systemic racism, equality and inclusivity.
While returning land, reviving Te Reo etc is helpful, without serious changes to the immigration settings, these actions will do very little to bridge the widening social divide. Immigration change and the flow on effects of lower rent, more affordable housing and more employment opportunities is paramount to ensuring a more inclusive NZ for all. And if business have to pay a fair wage and train more Kiwis as a result, all the better.
It is ironic that our Govt is so determined to have immigration policies that it feels will be seen as internationally kind and inclusive while (pretending to be?) blind to the huge barrier it creates to assisting minorities and how these so called inclusive policies make it all but impossible to move towards a more inclusive NZ. Current immigration settings are very positive for middle-aged, (reasonably) well-off whites like me BUT......

I was trying to come across as informative only. I think you are right.

OK thanks. I shouldn't have included the personal "you" in my post then. Apologies for the incorrect assumption.

The curtailing of mass immigration is good news. Unfortunately it is not due to astute management by either labour or national. It has has been due solely to covid. Chances are that once covid is finished the absurd project of getting NZ to ten million people will reemerge.