Net migration gains continue to break records driven by non-NZ citizens, as more New Zealanders leave the country than return home

Photo: Patrick Roque

Population growth from migration continues at an all time high, with a record net population gain of 72,402 people from migration in the 12 months to the end of July, according to Statistics NZ.

The net gain from migration has increased by nearly 700% over the last four years, steadily rising from 10,569 in the 12 months to July 2013 to 72,402 in the 12 months to July this year.

In the 12 months to July this year it was driven by 132,089 people arriving in this country on a permanent or long term basis, while 59,687 departed permanently or long term, leaving a net gain of 72,402.

Of the 132,089 arrivals, 45,397 were on work visas, 38,740 were New Zealand or Australian citizens (who do not require visas), 24,132 were on student visas and 16,661 were on residency visas.

However many of those who arrive on shot term visas such as work or student visas apply for residency once they are here and become permanent residents.

"The high net migration was mostly driven buy non-New Zealand citizens," Statistics NZ said.

In the 12 months to July there was a net gain of 73,514 non-New Zealand citizens, while there was a net loss of 1112 New Zealand citizens, as more New Zealanders left the country permanently or long term than arrived back from extended stays overseas.

The biggest source countries for new migrants were China with a net gain of 9961 from that country in the 12 months to July, plus another 816 from Hong Kong, followed by India 7444, the UK 6750, South Africa 4862, and the Philippines 4709.

By international region the biggest source of new migrants was Asia with a net gain of 33,212, followed by Europe 17,029, Africa and the Middle East 8130, Oceania 4448, and the Americas 43680.

Auckland remains the biggest destination for new migrants by far, with an estimated net gain to its population of 36,753 in the 12 months to July.

Plus almost 19,000 people did not state where they intended to live when they arrived, which means migration is probably adding a net gain of around 40,000 additional residents to Auckland's population each year, adding to the already substantial pressures on the region's infrastructure, such as housing, transport, schools and health services.

The second most popular destination was Canterbury with a net gain of 12,841 followed Wellington 10,532. 

Net long term migration

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It just gets bigger and bigger. Is there any limit?

For an academic approach see this quote " Gareth Kiernan has estimated an optimal level of net migration we should be aiming for over the next decade of between 10,500 and 16,600 people per annum" I found the report persuasive although it doesn't cover the widespread rorts and corruption involved in our current system..

Diversity and Vibrancy are the engine room of the economy. Without them we would be a poor undeveloped country. [Unacceptable vitriol removed from comment.-Edit]

I'm assuming you forgot to add /s to the end of your post to indicate sarcasm.

It could be argued that the Nazis loved immigration though rather than open their borders they just extended them. [Ps this does not make sense now, as I was replying Skudiv and his comment has been deleted]


Still juicing the economy up by importing record numbers of rapacious primates.

But look at all the growth we have!

The pie is being fed Foie Gras, it is growing, but the individual slices are getting smaller

And the Tennant pool is growing by massive amounts each month!!!

Is there a big call for Pet Shop Boys tribute bands then?

To start the ball rolling as it were. I trust that future comments on this and all other threads herein add new information or insights. Too many comments are overly repeated trash and certain inputs from self interested spruikers etc merely swamp innovative and usefully didactic comments. For you editors; mass swamping of comments is damaging the once enormous value of this platform. However, how it can be managed I have no idea.

This monthly report seems to be roughly the same each month with new usually higher figures written in. I suppose most contributors have much the same opinions they had last month.

If you want new research read the rather dry academic report that Infometrics produced only last week.

I'm more interested in the issuing of permanent residency since the figures are more reliable and of course work visas can be switched on an off easily. I do know that in 2017 the number of permanent residents did reduce by a few thousand.

Possibly having an ability for readers to sort inputs based on likes may help. It would need testing of course.


This is not migration it is stealth invasion.

Hundreds of years ago the Moriori, of the Chatham Islands, took a solemn vow of peace known as Nunuku’s Law. The decision to uphold this sacred law in the face of aggression in 1835 had tragic consequences. They were slaughtered, enslaved, and dispossessed of their lands.
Or the tragedy of Lebanon (1975 -1990) whereby a successful, liberal and predominately Christian country was overrun by Islamic forces from within and without. The "Paris of the East" was no more.

Yes, I do wonder if any ethnic groups are intentionally, or inadvertently due to culture pressures, dominating migration here.

Sometimes hard to judge. You see menay Chinese but are they from the Mainland or Hong Kong, or Taiwan or Singapore or Malaysia or Australia - well the immigration data for permanent residency is reliable but what about Indians there are many ethnicities in India and you only have to confuse a Gujarati, a Punjabi or a Tamil to get the same problems as calling a Tongan a Samoan or a Scot English. If we have to have immigration lets keep it as diverse as possible.

What are you afraid of ? Cannot compete ?


This is the nail in the coffin for the national party. .

Not if they admitted they had made an error (fairly easy to do since Labour did much the same a decade ago) and agreed on an all party consensual approach to immigration with all discussion public. The national party does give the impression that their immigration policy is designed by mainly silent lobbyists.


Or have binding referendum on immigration, but I suppose we can only be trusted or allowed to have a choice over a pretty picture on a flag.

Not if they also don't admit there is a housing 'crisis' When Adams was interview on Q + A, shoe still couldn't admit it, despite Corin pressing here multiple times. Instead she used other words, but wouldn't say the 'C' word, and I suspect they have been instructed to stay firm and not admit to it being a crisis. I suspect to do so shows failure, but every one else is calling it a crisis, so this just makes them look silly.

or the rise of NZ first at the expense of national


The previous record (last month!) was not even reported in the Herald or TVNZ or hidden somewhere, a bit like this latest one - today they're all about lipstick on a pig FFS. The people are being kept barely aware of the momentous change taking place.

What you are seeing is a clear effort by the media to ensure their person is voted in.

Don't worry.
They are happy to report on new subsidies that the Nats can pay for without taxing.

Is it me, or do there seem to be more bribes this year than normal?


You better believe it

Under National you will get 8 lane high speed motorways which will get you to the hospital so much faster, but when you get there - tough luck

Enjoy the ride

lol, it is quite the sad state of affairs isn't it.

National will build me a nice new road to Hamilton, TOP will then give me $200 to buy a ticket on the fancy new Green/Labour Train to get me right into central Auckland,

But Winnie has done away with all the taxi/uber drivers (as they are immigrants after all) so I will have to do a Hikoi, to the nice new hospital where I can pay my own way thanks to ACT having thoughtfully privatized it.

Oh well, at least I can have a chat with old Dunsey, who is still there on life support until September when the plug gets pulled.

All of a sudden the stats make sense, time to get out of here...

It is a very slippery slope towards censorship, I sincerely hope we do not end up like Germany where we could all find ourselves in jail for even mentioning immigration. I find this all quite alarming the people I speak to have no idea what is going on as they only read the MSM, and are taught (brainwashed) by the increasingly left school and university systems, intelligent and informed debate is now frowned upon.

I am sorry to report that we are already there. Susan Devoy now wants the blasphemy laws strengthened (you can't offend an imaginary entity?) apparently to protect a certain religion from what? Discussion?
Now google, face book (basically the internet) are now censored. If your thinking doesn't fit within set boundaries there is no place for your views. The extraordinary reaction to the protest in Virginia says it all really. Even the American civil Liberties Union is being blacklisted (or should that now be white listed) for defending their right to be heard.

I have to agree that Susan Devoy seems to have been the wrong choice for this role. The effects of this role on NZ society are likely to be quite marked, and I fear her tendency to jump on bandwagons in sometimes shortsighted ways could push us in directions that won't turn out well. I've no desire to see us head in a direction that sees some of the officious excesses of the UK, for example.

Actually no, extremist and racist rants are frowned upon, as Trump is finding out.


Entrepreneur Dick Smith is launching a $1 million advertising blitz to convince Australians of the hazards of overpopulation....The ads will start rolling out from tomorrow across TVs and will feature the voice artist behind the 1980s ‘Grim Reaper’ ads warning Australians about AIDS. “It’s a frightening ad that shows what’s going to happen if we have endless population growth - it’s going to destroy Australia as we know it today,” Mr Smith told ABC radio on Monday.

Plenty of new businesses cashing in on record immigration and genuine foreign buyers:


New Zealand First appears to be the only party with any interest in slowing these numbers. They will get my party vote.

and TOP. Maybe Labour - but they are scared to say.

The Govt do know it's not a trade me auction right?

Highest number does not win.

Still want to vote for same government.

Think and Vote as new government will bring new policies or some change (New government, may or may not bring change but definitely current national government will not bring any change, infact based on their argument of more the merrier, will not be surprised if it touches 100000).

I dont care what the actual number of migrants is .

But , I resent being treated like a mushroom , kept in the dark and fed bullshit .

I am angry that we have had no warning at all and dont know what to expect next , week , month or year .

I am concerned that we are possibly not being selective enough as to who we let in , vetting such large numbers is a mammoth task and I am unsure given the immigration fraud cases we have seen before the courts , that its open to abuse. and malfeasance on the part of Government registered immigration agents

I do care that we dont have the capacity to absorb or house such huge numbers , because we clearly dont have enough houses for them to live in .

Hell we dont even have enough houses for our own people right now , so this defies logic .

I suspected that this issue would sink National in the election , but it seems Labour want to maintain the status quo

It leaves Winston to make it a non-negotiable in a coalition negotiation .

As much as I dont trust him , he is our only hope

I agree, I feel I have no choice other than to vote for Winston. I would not like to see a huge population though that would just ruin the beauty of NZ for New Zealanders and the rest of the world who would like to visit for a holiday

Can you please itemise the reasons for your distrust of Winston

40 years in Govt - What else do you need?

Do you remember at school , if something went wrong the teachers always knew just one kid , (the naughty brat, schoolyard joker or likable rogue) who was likely to be involved . Call them the usual suspect .

Thats Winston Peters

He has been fired by every PM he has worked with .

He is economical with the truth

He wont answer straight questions with honest straight answers .

He alienates people ( so do I but I am not a politician )

He has had a fair share of "issues ' including the horse -racing donation fiasco.

He does however call things as he sees them , which is refreshing in a world of PC nonsense

I can live with that - do you know if he has any connections in the swamp draining business

The "Winebox", remember?


Funny you should mention the winebox affair ....

Winston was ridiculed, vilified and derided over that, until 20 years later in 2016 ...

When Mossack Fonseca and the Panama Papers came along and proved him right and suddenly John Key resigns

Yes I remember that

You are confused .

Come on guys. Let's accept it and make NZ great.

So 40,000 people arrive in Auckland this last year and 6,000 houses have been built this last year. Where are these people living? Has someone done some research? Could be an article for the good people at

Having had first hand experience living 14 to a 3 bed house in London, they are likely doing exactly what the stats imply. Living 10, 20, 30+ to a property.

No problem - they are either the minority highly skilled and well paid and they buy the expensive houses or they are the larger low-skilled majority and they just get the cheapest rental they can find but they can afford it because they do have work. Meanwhile the Kiwis who are having a really hard time (disabled unable to work, young children, etc) who are not in state housing become homeless - that is live in cars, garages, motels or under bridges. Without the immigrants they would be in cheap rentals. But kicking Kiwis in the face is not a problem if you vote for the worlds highest per capita immigration.

Had Enough?

Someone needs to stop this madness NOW!

Thank god we have an election just around the corner. Nation are going to get sent a very clear message.

More GST is good


Ah yes Noncents. Those were the days, in London sleeping two to a bedroom and the excess sleeping in the hallway or lounge. Then all off to the Goose and Firkin to down a few pints and a curry after that

So, there is no fear of house prices falling too steeply. Yayyyy..

Madness...National:s only policy to keep the economy growing.

NZ is turning into Delhi rather than singapore.

Productivity per person is abysmal so the only way to grow the economy is to get more people.

National have been great. LVR to keep FHB from buying coupled with high immigration to provide a fantastic pool of tenants. What crisis? Landlords rubbing their hands in glee.

"In the 12 months to July there was a net gain of 73,514 non-New Zealand citizens, while there was a net loss of 1112 New Zealand citizens"
I came to NZ 25 years ago from Europe so my following comment is a bit rich: Kiwis are being replaced mostly by Chinese and Indians. In my opinion, Chinese and Indians have vastly different values from Kiwis and I think it's a shame losing the Kiwi mentality and way of life

Unfortunately the white people are not ready to come here to study worthless diplomas/degrees and work for $10 or less per hour. The businesses here need such wage slaves to keep making profits. What is the alternative ? The whole western world is going to change in the next 50 years. History is being reversed all over the world gradually right in front of our eyes....Will have to suck it up and grin and bear it.