Statistics NZ figures show the lowest net migration gain for a September month since 2014

Photo: Patrick Roque

The tide is slowing turning on migration, with a net gain of 6818 people in September, down from 7904 in September last year and 7069 in September 2015.

However on an annual basis population growth from migration is still running at record highs, with a net gain of 70,986 in the 12 months to September compared to 69,954 in the previous 12 months.

The decline in the gain apparent in September was caused by fewer people arriving on a permanent or long term basis, (11,121 in September this year compared to 11,676 in September last year), and an increase in the numbers leaving New Zealand permanently or long-term (4303 in September this year compared to 3772 in September last year).

The biggest decline in new arrivals has been from India, with 499 arriving long-term from that country in September, compared to 554 in September last year, and 1269 in September 2015.

There were also declines in arrivals from Australia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and the UK compared to a year ago, while arrivals from the Philippines and South Africa were up.

The outflow of New Zealand citizens is also continuing, with 1637 more New Zealand citizens leaving the country long-term than arrived back in the 12 months to September.

However that net loss has been steadily declining for the last five years.

The figures also suggest that the number of people coming to this country on residency and student visas are declining, while those coming on work visas are starting to flatten out.

In newsletter to clients, Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod said the decline in net migration was likely to continue.

"The annual inflow is now off its peak and a further slowdown appears to on the cards," he said.

"Underlying the slowdown in net migration has been a pickup in departures of non-New Zealand citizens, which have risen from around 1900 a month last year to 2500 a month now.

"This group includes people who would have come over in recent years on temporary work and student visas.

"Typically those who come over on these programs stay for around three to four years.

"Given that the surge in foreign arrivals began in 2013, we have been expecting to see a corresponding surge in departures - that looks to have finally arrived, and we expect to see it continue over the coming months," he said.

Net long term migration

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The new government is already making progress, Lol


Well, a reduction in net migration numbers is a good thing.


Still has a long way to fall before it approaches anything like sanity.

It will certainly be interesting to see if NZ citizens start coming back here in any sort of significant numbers over the next few years.

Why would they ?

Low cost university now no longer available in Australia.

Don't you mean Bribes for votes offered in NZ!

Better than scaremongering, fear and lies

No, that's quite obviously silly.

Kiwis in AU now pay full foreign fees. By returning to NZ they will pay local uni rates again. This matters far more than the prospect of one of those years being cheaper than the others.

That fall will be mirrored more acutely by the drop in property prices

Can anyone tell me why the monthly figures consistently bottom out between March and July each year before going back up?

Winter - why give up a northern hemisphere spring and summer

Big influx of foreign student at the beginning of the year, followed by a taper in the middle?

Most international students travel to NZ in the Jan to March period since that is the official kick-off time for courses. At my firm, most people from overseas here on secondments fly in during the Jan-March period.
Finally, the holidaymakers from Europe and North America choose to ease into NZ climate by starting their time here in spring or summer.


When we are roughly 200% above a average OECD country in any area it is worthy of investigation. If it was exports it would be great, if it was say road deaths it would be bad however it is per capita immigration. Some think it is good and would like to push the door open wider for more immigrants so we get more diversity or alternatively multi-culturalism. Some see problems with social cohesion, distorted economics, serious issues for the unemployed competing against 3rd world wages, rorts and corruption.
A minor change that results in an Annual figure that has increased by about 1% is irrelevant to a rate that is triple the USA (under Obama).

See ya later! Be sure come back and visit Hobbiton... just leave the house keys on the table and don't forget to pack your rubbish job/restaurant/cafe. Cheers.

[Yikes. That is completely unacceptable racism. You are banned. Apologies to other readers for not seeing this earlier. Ed]

Fantastic news again!

Chinese quiet? Hahaha their language has one tone to it.

oh dear.

Actually Mandarin is quite tonal, it's why a lot of Chinese people can sing in tune.

i would like to know of those who comment here how many are just here to vent there anger at being in a partly market based system and who actually reads the articles on this site for learning and information like we do in our offices..I think a lot of people come to this site to attack private enterprise and public companies and dont actually love the articles published on this site.. Its not a blog site for the left.

Nor is it an attack sight for the right....If you are reading this in office hours,I hope you aren't booking chargeable hours to someone who thinks you are doing something constructive...

How do you know what people do or dont do, in terms of reading articles.

You seem to come on here and attack people and blow smoke up your....

You say how much money you make, you call people little lefties, tell people how stupid they are as they dont know what they are doing.

Now you say we come on here to attack private enterprise because people dont agree with you, and call it a blog site for the left.

I have my own businesses and not once do I feel people are attacking business. I see some people who dont like other peoples opinions, and because it doesn't match their filtered view of the world, they take offence.

accountingsoftw... I read all of the articles I comment on and read more articles than I comment on. I also read various other websites and sources for financial and economic news. I co-run a LTD company. I would make a distinction between attacking private enterprise/public companies for the sake of left wing ideology and just acknowledging that political leadership in NZ has been appalling and allowed manifest social problems to take root. I don't think it's helpful to make such broad sweeping generalisations or assumptions on what motivates peoples political leanings or desire to comment on this site. I personally don't subscribe to the political spectrum you refer to. Not left, not right, not even radically centrist. I think all those notions are an over simplification of the issues that face governance.

accountingsoftw. Your typing is as lazy as are your arguments. Do you not know how to use capitals? Furthermore, you obviously do not know the difference between there and their.

Veteran Melbourne property developer Morry Schwartz is out of a "toppy" property market and has no plans to return. Mr Schwartz said he survived the 1989 property crash "by the skin of my teeth"...(It's) the first time in 30 years he is out of the game..... " it's inevitable that the market will go down but we don't have a clue when – or by how much. I'm just saying that...should the market turn down, I don't want to be there. I've done that."


I may have said this is in the past, but I will repeat - a relative (kiwi born and bred) has lived in SE Asia (mainly Thailand) for well over a decade and can now speak, read and write fluent Thai.
He said he gets verbal racial abuse all the time .......but they smile while they are saying it :)
Of course they think he doesn't know the Thai language at all .....but they are mistaken.
He just smiles back .....and they looked surprised at his reaction ...then he will say something in Thai, then the look of shock ! and the fact they have "lost face".

You can deduce what you like with the above....... but I dare say they are doing this under our noses, here in NZ .....but here's the point, they have every right to do it in their own country, but if an immigrant starts ripping off, let alone slagging off, a country's good system that was built up over decades (far better than their homeland) I have no respect for them whatsoever.

The cherry on the cake with the above is that NZ has the highest rate of immigration per capita in the western world fact 3x more than the UK.

Another point is that NZ is "last on the list" when it comes to immigration .....they will try the USA first, then Canada or the UK, then Australia and if no go with those 4 - NZ.

Not only do we need to reduce the immigration numbers (we are such a tiny country anyway) we need to attract the skilled, mature, intelligent, educated and from a variety of countries - not just those 2 large ones in Asia.

A disclaimer: .....before you just say I am on a "racist rant" it has nothing to do with race - but with NUMBERS - lets go for a balance of people from ALL over world - and not be "5th choice" and an "easy mark" - it makes NZ look very weak, with no backbone.

Well said. Working holiday visas have a quota cap and so should permanent residency. And as you say if you think that is racist (and Prof Paul Spoonley does!) then notice it would apply to my own country of origin (UK). Such a policy would need a little tuning to allow for countries which contain different groups such as England/Scotland/Wales and various Indian states and religions and Han and non-Han Chinese.

I do worry about Chinese companies donations to political parties. I don't worry about say Cambodian companies making donations. Not race but size.

I was on a bus in London. 2 Scottish people talking, they mentioned NZ and how easy it is to get a visa. One said he may get a visa in NZ then go to Australia as it was easier to get NZ visa. This was only last week.

And that is exactly the reason why Australia is now treating all New Zealanders and the fake ones who immigrated easily through our fake visa system like second class hangers on. I don't blame the Aussies at all. They are smart enough to know that New Zealand has lax immigration laws. Yes Kiwi's are so naieve, but hey we apparently are one of the best countries to immigrate to, if only just to get into Australia on the back of our stupidity. Not all of us are that simple minded thankfully.

Well said crazy horse.

One thing I hear constantly from Chinese friends is "Kiwis so dumb leh"

Hopefully that will change with this new govt.

(Even Chinese I worked with in Perth couln't believe some of the policies of recent Kiwi govts were so stupid. We were talking about immigration and CGT)