Net migration gain of just 672 in November last year, way down from gain of 8744 in November 2019

Net migration gain of just 672 in November last year, way down from gain of 8744 in November 2019

New Zealand's net population gain from migration was just 672 in November last year, down by 92% compared to the net gain of 8744 in November 2019.

According to Statistics NZ, there were 2802 long-term arrivals in November, down from 18,460 in November 2019, while 2131 people departed the country long-term (9716 in November 2019). That gives a net gain of 672.

Perhaps surprisingly, it was not the first time population growth from migration was so low at that time of year in recent years.

In November 2012 the net gain from migration was just 109, and there was a net loss of population from migration in November 2011 (-924) and November 2010 (-323), 

Although migrant inflows were high in all of those years, outflows were also very high, causing a net loss of population from migration on several occasions.

There was a net gain of 1331 NZ citizens in November (1950 arrivals minus 620 departures), tempered by a net loss of 659 citizens of other countries (852 arrivals minus 1551 departures).

Those figures compare with a net gain of 1686 NZ citizens in November 2019 (4486 arrivals minus 2800 departures), and a net gain of 7058 citizens of other countries in the same month (13,974 arrivals minus 6916 departures).

By visa type, the biggest group were the 2054 NZ and Australian citizens who arrived in November (down from 4483 in November 2019), followed by 348 people who arrived on residence visas (down from 1428 in November 2019), 295 on visitor visas (4096 in November 2019), 77 on work visas (4483 in November 2019), and just 15 on student visas (1982 in November 2019).

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74 Comments

39
up

Thank you Covid. You are doing what the politicians wouldn't do.

Yes, it's clearly working, house prices are tumbling, traffic jams are gone and all beaches are swimmable

But expect that all to change Yvill (yes I know you are being sarcastic)... The government is doing the maths as we speak... Here's the template...
90k x 2 ( years 20 & 21) multiplied by Z (how much we need to keep property prices rising to keep the Labour government in power) equals 350k (by end of 2023).…..
The next run of immigrants will be from California... It's started already... Am already hearing them in all forms leadership... Bringing their money and Californian vision to Aotearoa... Be afraid. Very afraid!

And we still have traffic congestion :(

16
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And ridiculously high house prices that are completely out of range with people wages.

16
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..and begs the question...imagine how much worse the housing situation would be if covid hadn't stepped up?
Still waiting for msm to pose this question to Jacinda.
But they won't...can't embarrass the goddess.

10
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The housing situation wouldn't be as bad because interest rates wouldn't have dropped. Rates are the main driver for property prices.

Nah. Covid is the excuse, not the cause.

Jesse

There is no evidence that interest rates are the driver of asset inflation. House prices doubled between 2002 and 2007 with rates above 8 percent. It's how much credit the banks create which dictates asset prices.

10
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Jenee did pose a great question to Jacinda re: the expectation that housing prices only go up and why this doesn't apply to say shares. She gave a smart arse response, a grimace, and then walked out. I suspect the answer now will be a cookie cutter press release 'oh we are building x number of social houses', completely ignoring the fact this will do nothing for FHBs or house prices.

Jenee is above and beyond msm

14
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The rolling average annual net migration peaked at 95k in March 2020.
The traffic won't just go away by itself neither will homes become cheaper on their own because of a sudden slowdown in net influx after years of record migration.
We either depopulate or fix the huge housing and infrastructure backlog to achieve those things.

12
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Advisor...Let's all just stop and picture what a group of 95 000 people looks like (Eden Park holds 50K) and imagine the effect of throwing them into a market that already has huge and serious supply problems.

I am surprised those numbers aren't higher: given authorities have effectively privatised the decision of bringing in migrants and lowered the threshold for individuals to qualify for entry (income, field of study, migrant age, etc.) to an extent that the sponsoring entities can game this system for perverse outcomes.

There are still more people leaving than arriving to NZ. Provisional 1,800 in the last 30 days.
Student visa's continue to drop along with work visa's. There must be some check student accommodation coming up or are they going to general population.
There will be tourist still hold up in NZ, but they will start leaving once summer is over and now there is hope that a vac will help their country.
But I don't see our border open letting the influx that they would like.

Matt can you provide a link supporting your provisional numbers.

13
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The first goal should be NOT to make the problem worse, so we should put an immediate hold on all immigration with maybe a few exceptions for say 5 years. Using the time to address the existing infrastructure and housing problems, funded by QE if necessary and have a discussion on a sensible population level which is needed as part of our climate emergency measures.
A government that thought in the best interests of NZ rather than follow overseas edicts is what we need. Come on Labour prove you can do this.

Tightening immigration settings hardly fits the narrative of a wanna be future UN Secretary General. NZ must suffer for the aspirations of one.

Stopping all immigration would be profoundly damaging to our economy. It would open up a huge skill shortage. If we have any aspiration to move to a more tech-oriented economy; stopping immigration is an absolute non-starter.

Immigrants generally provide a net benefit - you have economically productive people, whose education and upbringing was not subsidised by tax payers. It’s a win-win.

How is the climate emergency relevant? Carbon is carbon. Better to bring more people to a country with mostly renewable energy than trap them in coal-powered states.

15
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powerupkiwi...my post said tightening up, not stopping ALL immigration. If you are referring to a small number of tech EXPERTS, vets, doctors, spouses who have lived together long-term (absolutely no traditional or email brides) etc then I agree they provide a net benefit as long as numbers are capped at somewhere around 10K PA and the deal does not include their parents, brothers, sisters etc.
However, if you are contending that allowing 90K+ immigrants, most of whom I would politely define as low skilled to come here over a 12 month period provides a net benefit then I would strongly disagree with your claim. In fact I would say that anything that contributes so greatly to our housing and rent affordability problems (by increasing housing demand so much) and which is leading to such an unconscionable social divide could never be seen as providing a net benefit to society.
What is a net benefit to landlords, rich business people looking for cheap labour (instead of training our own people and offering them a fair wage) and migrants hoping to help family or even paying customers escape their own country is certainly not my definition of a win/win for NZ. Let's have some compassion for our poor and protect them from the scourge that is our current immigration policies. It is not all about economic productivity. It is more about keeping the Kiwi dream of home ownership alive and ensuring our poor do not overpay on their rent and are underpaid for their labour. And mass immigration is simply a huge barrier to solving these two (potentially) socially explosive issues that may well end up destroying the whole fabric of NZ society and what we stand for.

There’s no evidence for what you’re saying. We don’t need to protect anyone. Immigrants spend money too. On the whole, they create more jobs. I’m not just talking about a small number of experts. I’m talking about nurses, carpenters, programmers, and scaffolders. NZ isn’t going to attract the cream of the crop anyway.

We should have compassion for those in other parts of the world too. Both their lives and our lives could be improved by allowing them in.

We need to build more houses and infrastructure. That’s it. And we’re probably going to need to import a lot of labour to do so. Our population density is half that of the United States. We have room for bigger towns and cities, and we can and should grow.

And enough of this “kiwi dream” of owning a house. Time to grow up. You buy a house if it’s a sensible thing to do given your situation. We need to get over this all consuming obsession.

This is a world that is already overpopulated and the last time I looked NZ was part of that world. The human race needs to face that we have grown in numbers more than what the planet can sustain.
It is impossible to grow endlessly in a finite world, we need exactly the opposite sort of thinking than that which you expound.

Where did you look?

The environmental burden of population is function of technology. I would agree with you if we were all farmers living off the heat of a wood fire. We could erase a huge portion of our impact just by erasing animal agriculture (which will probably happen within this century). We pretty much can grow forever in any meaningful sense of that phrase.

In any case, I’m not arguing for an increase in the world population. I’m arguing for an increase in New Zealand’s. The world population isn’t going to get much higher, based on it’s current trajectory.

Well I am arguing AGAINST increasing NZs population, I like the smallness of our country, if you want a teeming population, there are other places you could live.

Okay, if your issue is that you don’t want to share the country with others, that’s fine. But don’t try and justify it with fallacious ecological and economic arguments.

I want more people and fewer cows, so I’ll continue to advocate for that thanks. Why don’t you move, if you want to live in an economically dead sparse place. (Try Siberia.)

We have enough issues already with inequality, issues that still need sorting with Maori. If you think this country can support more people with less of the agriculture we rely on for income, you are dreaming.
At some point it has to all stop, and it will be better if it stops with fewer, not more people.
And ecologically speaking, without us sorting the damage too many of us have done, we will have nothing, so don't try that nonsense with me.

What I really hate about more and more people is houses being demolished, gardens and topsoil scraped off a lovely large section, mature trees often fruit pulled out, being replaced with multiple dwellings with no room for a parsely plant let along a mature shade tree, new subdivisions that leave little land unconcreted, huge slabs of polystyrene under new houses that in a few decades will be yet ANOTHER unsustainable rubbish issue to deal with when those houses fall to bits, no trees, no birds, all because we think we need a bigger population, camp grounds at beaches being turned into exclusive subdivisions for wealthy people, the poorer people who took visits to the beach for granted when we were kids, now we have kids who've never seen a beach, such has been the grinding down of ordinary incomes by bringing in people to undercut the ordinary worker.
This is NOT an improvement.

powerupkiwi.... of your eleven points I personally disagree with 10, only agreeing with your population density claim. If you do not understand the basic rule of supply and demand and seriously believe adding an extra 90 000 people to the supply side of something has no effect I really don't know what I can say except that we should have more compassion for struggling Kiwis than for (wanna be) immigrants.

They are both producers and consumers with a low tax footprint, for the most part. The evidence points to immigration having no adverse effect to the native population at any skill level, with increases in employment in the long term. If we want more jobs for New Zealanders, we should bring in more immigrants. Trump’s crew tried to come up with rigorous versions of your argument and failed miserably.

And honestly, I don’t have more compassion for struggling kiwis than I do for those struggling anywhere else. It’s the same.

Struggling Kiwis ??? Have you ever of the term "working poor or genuinely misfortunate", that's the sort of folks that need help and definitely not the ones leeching off the system (generation after generation).

A friend of mine lost his job recently and was forced to apply to Work and Income, I went along with him to the office for moral support and here's what I saw.

What they gave him was a joke compared to what they pay the leeches (given that he's being paying tax for decades).
Just in front of us, a refugee family of 6, who was all settled in comfortably in Dunedin (courtesy of the Tax payer), suddenly decided to relocate to Auckland for reasons best known. Guess what the case officer entertained them and gave them all they need to settle in Auckland including an $800 rental grant. Why ???? we'd never know but somehow the poor darlings thought that Dunedin wasn't good enough for them.

When it came to the hard working kiwi in genuine need, the case officer did his best to stone wall, whilst handing out some meager pittance hardly enough to cover any thing. I am really sick and tired of this political correctness and the rules designed to help leeches who don't want to help themselves.

It is often quoted that immigration was running at a 'city the size of Nelson' each and every year the past decade. Ridiculous.

hemihua... it's actually almost closer to the population of Hamilton now.

17
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Still 672 too many

12
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That may be interpreted as xenophobic. I've been commenting against NZ excessive immigration policy for years so I'm happy to agree that far. However immigration is not in itself a bad thing. Most immigrants are proud to become Kiwis and fit in well etc. The immigration problems are:
1. There is no population plan. So Aucklanders complain about our poor infrastructure but to be fair to the council it was the govt that brought so many immigrants here without any pre-planning.
2. The quality of most immigrants is poor. Low wage immigrants make poor kiwis suffer low pay and poor conditions.
3. Worker exploitation. Only happens because we tolerate low wage immigrants.
4. The high quality immigrants that NZ desperately needs (lets say a replacement specialist cancer surgeon) have too many obstacles and delays put in their way by our over-loaded bureaucratic INZ.

10
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There is little wrong with people coming and going, however when you have great numbers coming from other places as they see a better life here, perhaps the rest of us should be seeing what we can do to help make where they are are born a better place to stay

PA... being poor and unskilled/unqualified in developing countries such as Thailand or India is immeasurably worse than being poor in NZ so we tend to attract poor economic migrants from these types of countries. Yes, there are rich Thais. Filipinos and Indians with NZ residency but nearly all of them spend most of their time in their own country where they enjoy an even better quality of life than our wealthy. Their residency is often just a bolt hole and regular holiday spot.
I doubt we can help the poor people of these places much as the rich and connected just keep all the money for themselves and (overly kind) places like NZ become a dumping ground for their poor, unskilled citizens. 12% of Filipinos live and work abroad and send $31B USD home (and out of the economy they reside in) every year.

I agree that there are probably a swag of people with resident status of convenience, and now they are sheltering here and will be off the minute the coast is clear.

18
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100% agree with you. I have no problem with immigration itself. I have a huge problem with using immigration as a tool to give a short term "boost" to the economy and to drive down wages but with no thought or plan as to how to provide the infrastructure to support the growth in population.

Our immigration policy is designed to benefit a small slice of the population, while the rest of us living here pay the costs

10
up

Note our hospitals are currently at capacity, surgery cancelled daily. And it’s not even winter.

rastus... immigrants don't need surgery, water, jobs or housing. Reducing their numbers will not reduce the demand for these things. /s

"Still 672 too many"

Narrow minded xenophobic comment

Please explain as your comment makes no sense.

14
up

A migration gain of 672 a month. That actually sounds like a pretty sensible permanent immigration setting. And even this Govt could implement it within a few months.

10
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yup, once the borders open up, one in one out.

Someone leaving the country should be able to auction off their space.

That is an interesting idea. We know that agents in 3rd world countries have charged over $30k to get an immigrant to NZ. We also know that the total value of NZ physical infrastructure divided by population is over $250k (from memory). And that the commercial value of NZ super at age 65 is about $400k. So the going auction price might be $50k or $100k for a family. How many low paid Kiwis and young graduates would emigrate to Australia if bribed by $50k? I might lose all four of my working age children none of whom can even dream of affording to buy in Auckland.

Lapun... having witnessed first hand the prevalence of low cost corruption in much of Asia I am pretty sure that many "new NZers" resort to what equates to selling citizenship through arranging visas for paying customers who masquerade as partners or family and can cheaply and easily buy the required documentation in their own country. And once they gain residency they recover the costs by doing the same thing themselves. It would be interesting to see % of how many people who receive NZ residency are involved in a residency application for others within their first 10 years of being here. Bet it is very high.

15
up

The last 2-3 decades immigration has been used by successive governments as a lazy way to stimulate economic growth. I am a strong believer in the role of immigration to evolve our culture and to create diversity, both of which we require for stable long term growth. But I would be more than happy to shut off all LT immigration for the next 3 years to enable the country to get a grip on infrastructure, housing, schools, impoverishment ... the list goes on. But the unfortunate reality is our government cannot wean itself off the economic growth mass immigration brings in to the detriment of our society. How about a referendum on the levels of immigration for the next 5 years?

13
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We have a window of 5 years max. After that we would be outvoted by new NZers wanting to continue or expand the current settings.

12
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Yep and that is why the UK went for Brexit, a chance to control its own boarders and stop letting in immigrants. Like I always say, we are like 10 years behind the UK so expect us to wake up one day an realize its to late, there are too many people in NZ already, its time to start making it really tough to get here and bring in only the people with the skills we need. Thankfully we are surrounded by ocean and a long way away from Europe of we would be facing tides of refugees.

I disagree. It is new NZers with their experience of overcrowded countries of origin who are begging for a rational immigration policy. I speak for myself (UK + melanesian family). By coincidence I was talking to a Hong Kong Chinese immigrant yesterday who without any prompting blamed our Auckland housing crisis on 'too many Chinese' and I've a property manager from India who once said 'they brought in the wrong Indians'. For blunt talk about immigration speak to immigrants.

On the property price front, I think this definitively proves our primary problems are: a) housing supply, plus to an extent b) NZers cultural preoccupation with housing as a preferred form of investment.

*accidental duplicate post*

Grant try to push Housing into RBNZ consideration, this is the next one; Overseas/Foreign contribution to GDP.

David Seymour has been pushing for housing (amongst other asset prices) to be included in the CPI calculation. It's worth pushing for, definitely.

It's amazing people are still blaming immigration as a cause of house price increases. A fall in net migration didn't trigger a corresponding fall in house price and instead the increase is sustained or exacerbated. The argument that it takes time to see the effect is just another farce. Explain the current inverse relationship between net migration and rising house prices! If growing net migration is major determinant and a real cause of rising house price, a sharp fall like what we'd seen would had caused house prices to collapse even if it's little bit.

The looneys had been barking up the wrong tree for years. Human nature never changes, when there's a problem, just find a prejudice and blame it- don't let facts and science get in the way of a good story. If Joseph Goebbels is alive, he would had been envious having such a population.

You are right that foreign migrants and house prices do not correlate. NZ has many zombie towns and villages with declining populations and bargain price houses. However Auckland now has a population that was expected in 2030 so too little was spent on our roads, water, hospitals and schools.
Maybe emigration is more important than immigration but the former is harder for the govt to control.

Lapun... most foreign migrants rent or buy in the same few locations. How on earth could the number of people needing housing (ie demand) not correlate with cost (ie purchase price or rental amount)? They are inextricably linked.

Linked yes but a low correlation because other significant factors apply. Obviously emigration is just as significant as immigration. Internal movement from rural to cities is highly significant too - ref countries with minimal immigration such as Japan and Korea that have expensive city property. Another factor is house-building - we have forgotten the speed that houses can be built to match demand; for example just after WW2 and I guess China could advise on how to simply build fast and that lets supply match demand.
You are correct about foreign migrants usually end up together and usually end up in cities not towns or villages - that was noted by american academics 100 years ago. Modest immigration is great but high rates of immigration do not lead to diversity and multi-culturalism but to ghettos.

Wrong

The damage was caused by the 20 years of immigration flood
The damage was done then
An expectation that a 1 year hiatus should produce a fall in prices is flawed

Amazing how many narrow minded "I want to stay in my cave" "stay home you foreigner" are written. It's plain and simple xenophobia but authors of these comments can't see it

Yvil... if want to experience true xenophobia just move to almost any Asian country for a while. I have lived in a few and can tell you it is beyond belief. I seem to remember that (maybe) you have a Japanese wife. Japan may well be the most xenophobic country on earth. We used to joke in Thailand that you were better off not to understand the language as the constant racism was enough to make you cry. And good luck getting residency in Thailand, Japan, China, Vietnam, Korea, etc etc.

Diversity is our strength has become a bit of a mantra. In reality most people gravitate to their own tribe, be it race, age, background, country of origin, religion etc Just look at AUckland now. There are clear suburbs now known to be populated by a particular race, country of origin, or faith. People want to hang with similar folks. That's not racism, it is how we are wired imho. It's not a crime to recognise this, but it most probably will soon become one.

Bnworld..I have never felt that way myself and have always lived in local areas and buildings abroad rather than gravitating towards accommodation, restaurants and pubs catering mainly to expats. I do not think it is a kiwi thing to want to hang with similar folks, although at the risk of sounding (or being accused of being) racist I can say I have noticed (many people of) some nationalities do prefer to live in one specific area of a city.

Yes but that's perfectly acceptable because racism only applies to white Europeans.

I'm not scared of other families, I just prefer my own and I expect most other familes think likewise.
Xenophobia is fear of foreigners. But you can easily test whether it is xenophobia or just simple preference for the status quo - does the objection to heavy rates of imigration depend on the country they come from - if the answer is yes then it is xenophobia.

Lapun... as somebody that chose to live the last 25 years of my life overseas, mainly in Asia, I think I can say I have proved I neither prefer my own or fear foreigners. With the current housing and rental issues I would be strongly against anything that increased our population by 90K PA simply because of the destructive nature I believe it has on our country. To me, it is irrelevant where they are coming from. What is relevant is that it can easily be stopped and that the extra 90 000 PA we allow to migrate here have to live somewhere that could instead be used by a NZ family in desperate need of a home.

Completely agree with you. Obviously all xenophobes are against immigration but the converse is not true. Most of the NZ public, including you and I, are not xenophobes but would prefer a rate of immigration that was lower. NZ has been a world leader in high levels of legal immigration for 70 years; NZ is still a wonderful country but judged by GDP per capita we have been sliding backwards for 70 years so our immigration has not been a success story.

Lapun... or to be a little more precise, I would prefer to have a much much lower population growth until we are in a position to provide basic needs such as accommodation, water and medical care to our existing citizens. And if we look at the ways we can easily have a positive influence..........

It takes till it becomes general knowledge that immigration rates have fallen away

CWBW.. If you are disputing that adding 90 000 people a year to a population of 5M has no effect on housing and rents I really don't know what to say to you. You have written a few funny posts in recent weeks but this one made me laugh the most.

Well said Karl. NZ has let in 48-65k net migrants a year into NZ for each of the last 6 years. It is impossible to even start an argument with someone who claims this has had no impact on house prices. It is like trying to argue with someone who believes the earth is flat.

Covid > NZ First LOL

5 million is enough people for our beautiful country.

Does anyone seriously want NZ to be a country of 20 million in a hundred years time?

Dont we all want our kids and grandkids to enjoy the lifestyle we have been so lucky to have?

Once its all gone ya cant get it back...

Yay. That's is more or less break even. No one in NZ voted for the last million to arrive.