Annual net gain from migration down 1.6% to 70,147 in year to January

Annual net gain from migration down 1.6% to 70,147 in year to January

The latest migration figures from Statistics NZ show the annual net gain was 70,147 in the 12 months to the end of January, down 1.6% compared to the year to January 2017.

However the net gain for the month of January 2018 was 8577, up 1.6% compared to January last year.

That suggests the recent trend of a decline in the rate of migration is probably still fairly fragile and it's possible there could be another surge in migration-fuelled population growth.

However the annual growth rate is still extremely high by historical standards, and you only need to go back to 2012 when there was a net loss of 3134 people in the year to January.

That turned to a net gain of just 12 in the the year to January 2013 and then surged upwards to the net gain of 71,305 in 2017.

The biggest source countries for new migrants remain China and Hong Kong, with a net gain of 10,057 in the 12 months to January, although that was down by 8.7% compared to the previous 12 months.

That was followed by India 6707 (-21.7%), the UK 6136 (+2.6%), South Africa 4946 (+9.1%) and the Philippines 4775 (+4.3%).

There was a net gain of just 38 people from Australia in the 12 months to January, down from 1264 a year earlier.

The figures also show a net loss of 993 New Zealand citizens in the 12 months to January and a net gain of 71,140 citizens of other countries.

And Australia continues to attract far more kiwis each year than those that return home from that country, with with 20,362 New Zealand citizens departing long term for Australia in the 12 months to January and 15,231 returning from an extended stay across the ditch.

The biggest group arriving in this country long term were coming here to work, with 46,457 arrivals on work visas in the 12 months to January which was up 9.5% compared to a year earlier, followed by 38,715 NZ and Australian citizens (up 2.2%), 24,144 on student visas (-0.6%), and 15,393 on residency visas (-7.9%).

Net long term migration

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How can the Labour party that professes to care for the homeless and disposed, allow even more immigrants into this country while there is an ever increasing number of people without out homes? That is ok, just come in and take this or that persons home, or you could just simply buy a people mover and live in that along with quite a few New Zealanders.
Clearly they are going to take a while to get house building ramped up; years? So how can they justifiably continue Nationals policy of pouring petrol on the fire. So far I see that they are little different from National in terms of the housing problem and the Ponzie economy. The time has long past to call a complete halt to immigration, except for returning Kiwis and direct a significantly increased number of our people to building the housing that we so desperately need.

Just a reminder to put into perspective how far out of kilter our immigration is, here are some immigration figures for different countries as a percentage of their total population

New Zealand currently 1.56% !!!!!!!!!
NZ Labour proposed (40,000) 0.9%
UK 0.39%
USA 0.3%
France 0.04%
Germany 0.19%
Australia 0.75%

I think you're expecting too much too soon. The immigration and housing problems have been festering for years, and a rational, concise and multi-pronged solution is needed. Immigration levels need to be reduced, the building supplies duopoly needs fixing, compliance/consents need streamlining, zoning and land use regulations need relaxing... The list goes on. A new government can't just wave a magic wand and solve them all the issues left over from National's reign within five months.

That being said, I totally understand where you're coming from and I agree with you on all your concerns.

They could do something about immigration right now. Look at all the things that they did in the first 100 days. Clearly it, and the inevitably consequential homelessness is not that important to them.

Agree with all the comments above.
The government needs to start winding back the immigration rate now.

Presumably that include refugees

Wind back immigration now and plant 1 Billion trees and build 100,000 houses. I've got a Tui for you.

It's 2018, and with a fresh new left wing govt in place homeless will now be referred to as 'rough sleepers' by all right (left) thinking journalists. We should henceforth celebrate the miraculous solving of this problem by our new leader, and congratulate the virtuous self-reliance these wonderful people demonstrate in getting back to nature and choosing such a low-impact lifestyle.

Foyle; as usual you have gone off on a tangent. The big issue you should really be focussing on is whether the coalition should allow these rough sleepers to have one time or reusable plastic bags around their bodies during wet weather.

First time I ever heard the term "rough sleeper" it came out of the mouth of Bill English during the election campaign

Is it really a journalistic "left wing" thing - seems more like PC thing making it less unacceptable

It's possible there could be another surge in migration-fuelled population growth

Looks like we have admitted to ourselves that there is very little the government can actually do to stop people from pouring into our cities and cramming our infrastructure further. Migration, at this point, seems to be completely market-driven with our immigration department serving as a rubber stamp without any real control over the situation.


Immigration is a government department. If the minister wanted to reduce the number of visas approved this could be done fairly quickly wouldnt you think?


The tools to curtail immigration are in place.
Just increase the number of points required for residency and eliminate NZ education quals as a contribution to points.
It can be done on a phone call.
Aim to take net imigration back to historic averages.


As you say the tools are in place. Another effective tool is to charge serious money for employing foreigners. That was how PNG did it 25 years ago; my employer needed my unique skiils so paid me generously but also paid the same again to the government in income taxes and another fixed sum for the work permit - just that work permit charge would have allowed the PNG government to employ about 3 local teachers. As you can imagine my employer made localisation of jobs a very high priority.
If the businesses that employ foreign 'chefs' and 'bakers' were forced to pay for the privilege then the numbers of foreign 'chefs' employed would go down leaving NZ with maybe Gordon Ramsey or Michel Roux. It would help the governments income. And it would stop dead in its tracts the most of the rorts detailed in Prof Christina Stringers report on 'Widespread Worker Exploitation".

Anyone with any understanding of politics knew that this was just grandstanding by Labour/Winston given the driving requirements of economics. Only the ignorant and naive bought it (and voted Labour/NZF).

What a bummer - I am naive and ignorant. I believed election promises.

Sad to say when we finally catch up with other countries and adopt a sane immigration policy it is quite probable they will go too far and stop the small number of really talented and skilled coming to NZ. We really do need those top PhD level graduates with say 5 years experience in IT or engineering from India or China or Europe but they rarely come to NZ - they end up creating or managing wealthy exporting businesses in California.

Sadly Foyle is correct, NZF got elected on an immigration policy then promptly retired to the Koru lounge and a comfortable life. I won't forget for next time.

Labour constantly brought up on how critical it is to bring down immigration levels. 4 months into the government and we still have not heard a peep from them. Why you ask?
It is easier said than done since a large part of our short-term economic success is tied to record migration (e.g. business confidence, export education albeit low quality); meddling with which may plunge is into a sudden slowdown in economic activity. Labour clearly does not want to be seen as the party that inherited a booming economy and turned it to bust within its first year in power.

The new lot, just like the old lot, but with less experience?

Not sure where experience fits into the equation, unless you mean that National had years to become truly terrible re: immigration.

I'm sure that's correct. They may be doing something subtly though. My partner works for a large tertiary institution that has lost a significant number of international students because the new government have just recently made the ability to work after completing lower tier qualifications much more complex. Word is getting around and there are far fewer Indian students enrolling. This institution has also been warned by immigration after it was found to have 200 students who were enrolled but not legally allowed to remain in the country for the duration of their studies. There will be hit to the money coming from these sectors that the National party pumped up but they were totally unsustainable in the first place. Hopefully they have a long term plan in place to minimise the damage done by the former government.


I think our immigration finally went looking for visa fraud and found it in India, obviously wasnt hard.
Indian numbers for January are down about 10,000 and two intakes may translate to down 20,000 this year
That is only part of the game because there is obviously fraud in the Independant Tertiary Institutes in NZ.
However it all comes down to the Holy Grail of Residency and the scam is NZ has been offering Residency based on bad NZ qualifications.
It has to stop, right now.

Completely agree

immigration finally went looking for visa fraud and found it in India
No surprises there. There have been reports on all those multi-billion frauds over the years,where perpetrators with deep pockets walk away without even a slap on the wrist.
Then there is a toxic corporate culture of excessive expectations:
We should be more careful on what culture we bring in!


Where`s Winston? I thought he campaigned on lowering immigration.
The reality is that most of the new migrants end up in Auckland and the infrastructure is woefully inadequate to support the current population, let alone more. Something has to give.

Good point. However it would take a while to put these things in place, assuming that they are being put in place! And scarily there will be lobbying from parties like immigration consultants and those who wish to create enclaves of their ethnicities in NZ in the background.....

If Labour/Greens keep this same migration policy and NZ First disappears, I can see a gap in the market for a new party.

The party is called TOP.

Nothing wrong with good migration gains. Good for keeping up market volatility. Good for residential property gains and profit. Good for speculators and investors. What’s the problem?


Net migration doesn't show the full story as cultural expert Trevor Phillips's explains here

Even if net migration were zero that doesn't mean there aren't good honest kiwis leaving and being replaced by (generally) more dishonest, (generally) less skilled migrants.

Got to love generalizations....

Do you think the countries those 'good honest kiwis' are going to view them as more dishonest less skilled migrants?

Must mean those good honest kiwi's being shipped back home for breaking Australian law.

You mean all those ones who have spent zero of their life in NZ?

In my experience as a POM working in London, New York and PNG Kiwi workers had a great reputation for being both hard working and level headed - on balance they were prferred over other countries although that may have been a willingness to take lower wages..


bilbo. There is no question that much of the recent immigration has been low skilled. Anecdotally you can see this almost everywhere you go within this country and stagnant productivity growth confirms it.

The last government was aware of this yet negligently allowed the tide of lower skilled people to keep flowing in, the coalition talks a tough game on migration but that's all, just talk; lets have some 'conversations' and set up committees to investigate. Peters is invisible on immigration; loud war cries in opposition, a wimp in government.

Few kiwis seem to give a toss about the dramatic change to this country's ethnic, social and skill base mix, being imposed on us by the Wellington social engineering elite.

It was a simplification. In reality there are two camps.

The underclass:
The low skilled students who want to set down a grappling hook for their family. Statistically some immigrants have higher birth rates, even while living in conditions which would put most NZ couples off having kids. These groups always have a strong cultural identity which more often that not passes onto the children. Combine these two facts and it's easy to see huge demographic changes driving identity politics down in decades to come. Just look at the demographics of Fiji.

The over class:
Wealthy immigrants who own more and more land, businesses, rental housing, university qualifications, high end jobs.

Two different groups but the outcome is the same for each. Segregation. New Zealanders fleeing into the suburbs.

There are already separate shops for different groups e.g. These two Harcourts are right next to each other.

All in the name of multiculturalism and cultural appropriation..... such a shame we can't be more like china or Japan in this regard.. I can't but think that there is a direct relation between strong cultural indentity is based on exclusion of other alien identities

Interesting quote from the narrator in the video:

"By and large, I don't think the motivations for this pattern are sinister. But I've always believed that separate streets and neighbourhoods would pretty quickly lead to separate ways of life - and, separate values."

(After which he goes on to discuss the issues highlighted by segregation and the terrible conditions segregated underclasses live in.)

Too high a volume seems to encourage segregation rather than becoming part of the wider community, with not the greatest effect over time. A terrible case of economic short-termism we've had.

Watching your link - bloody marvellous and essential viewing.


Free healthcare and a welfare system. Of course the flood will continue.

and to your point rastus; I note the recent increase in people who have immigrated here in recent years, now leaving for elsewhere. How many of these, I wonder, have left behind them their elderly relatives, whom they were able to bring in under family unification provisions before that gate was partly closed, for taxpayers to provide ongoing free healthcare and partial pensions?

We arent the brightest bunch are we.

At least National also put our taxpayer money into housing them:

Brilliant. Looks like Paula's eyeing up a similar set up to Jenny Shipley, using taxpayers money to grease her path.

How do you think "Kiwi so dumb la" came to be?

The voters for the parties that formed the coalition are in Dreamsville if you think they are going to follow through with there promises!

Seriously, can someone please tell me what they have actually followed thru with fully apart from stupid working groups.

Absolutely nothing!,,

Another angry man rant.

It's barely been five months, give them time. If after their 3 year term is over they haven't done a lot then you can sling your feces.

Shane Jones has just announced that they won't get any trees planted this year, but next year they will plant an extra 15million, leaving them just 185million behind the 100million/year election promise.

Expect the media to be all over them for this /sarc

I hope the media are all over it and all over the immigration numbers, houses built etc. I also hope the opposition will be pushing it. Many voted for this type of baby due or not, the coalition should be held to account and made to perform as promised. That's why we vote.

Im happy with that there does need to be accountability, and they need to stick to promises. I do think a bedding in period, as anything thats done off the cuff, normally ends in failure. So some planning is required and some research.

But not 9 years of stuffing up the country and creating huge generational issues where people struggle to afford the basics. Who would have thought one small bottle of beer is now equivalent to what I bought a crate for when I first got a job.

Well at least Filipino, Brits and South Africans actually come here and work , many ( not all ) of the rest are opportunists , fortune seekers , snake oil salesmen, property speculators, $2 shopkeepers, dodgy doctors and tax evaders (or elderly parents of the same group described above) .


When it comes to long term population in NZ I keep hearing " we need to have a conversation about where we want this to go long term " Absolutely true! But all we ever hear is this sentence. We completely lack a forum where NZ can have this conversation. It seems this conversation is never going to happen. We need to create a way that the NZ public can have these types of conversations and make a decision.

"we need to have a conversation about..." = we will talk about this privately with a few of our mates, but with no urgency 'cos it's a tricky issue that will mostly lose us votes no matter which way we jump, but if we do eventually have to do something then we will dump our decision upon you on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend and also release a hoard of squirrels to distract the media.

Cruel ! The whole nation was captivated by the charming story of our beloved leader catching a John Dory. And seeing a whale when out at sea; I mean, that's, like, amazing !

Normal migration that requires people to voluntarily make another country their home and have the resources to establish themselves would have interesting consequences for the host country. Immigrants will mostly go to the gateway city and main business hub. Being driven sort of people, interested in improving their lot, they will endeavour to buy houses in the best neighbourhoods and send their children to the best schools. This will inevitably result in a situation where immigrants are, on average, more well off than the locals. I am confident that if you did a survey of immigrant net wealth and local net wealth you would find that immigrants are wealthier or at least growing wealthier. A class system could develop where locals descend more into poverty and more recent arrivals ascend the social ladder.
Importing more refugees and poor immigrants could address this concern, if indeed it is a concern.

I must say earlier reports of immigration having plateaued or peaked seemed to me rather odd. Net gains of 70k compare to net losses a few years ago are still extraordinary differences. Even if immigration halved it would still be massive and have society changing consequences. For the better or for the worse would depend on one's circumstances.

Since we will never stop Kiwi citizens bringing their foreign partners to NZ (13,000 per year) then totally stopping immigration is impossible. However those 13,000 will bring more than enough diversity and unlike the current 'swamp them' immigration will not build ghettos/colonies.

Not so sure.

If immigration is stopped cold-turkey, eventually the foreign partner syndrome will exhaust itself. It is a symptom of another culture. Most locally born native-NZ'ers couple up with locals. They don't seek mail-order-brides. Noted that you refer to Kiwi-citizens. You really mean citizens of New Zealand. Or perhaps more accurately, permanent residents. One often becomes the other.

Please, Coalition supporters, Please advise us all of what they have completed that they have said they WILL DO????
No use saying they have only been in 5 months, WHAT HAVE THEY DONE???????

Surely, based on standards held just a few months ago, people wouldn't be worried about any particular lack of progress until sometime after the government's third term?

Here's a good place to start if you haven't been paying attention.

Note this is a month out of date so will be missing some things. As I'm sure you're aware, there's a tough line to tread between criticisms of not doing anything, and criticisms of not thinking before they do anything. There's a bunch of people out there who decide they want to complain about the new government first, then think of what to complain about second.

So by reading it, they have done absolutely NOTHING.
We have done this we have done that!!!
So you have said you are doing this and that and yet you have done NOTHING!!

What did you expect?

"there's a tough line to tread between criticisms of not doing anything, and criticisms of not thinking before they do anything"

But a pretty thick wedge between that and making campaign promises without researching what it will take to follow through. Icecream and pony rides for everyone!!

Shame Jones has announced that by end of next year they will have planted just 7.5% (15million) of the (200million) trees promised.

Kiwibuild: Promised 10000homes per year pre election, now saying they will deliver half (16000 in this term) of that. Costs escalating, 'houses' becoming small apartments. Anyone want to bet on them even getting to 16000 overpriced, undersized hovels?

[edit] MBIE estimate they will only be able to do about 8000kiwibuild homes this term - about a quarter of their promised 30000. It's even bullshittier than i thought.

Lets bullshit our way through this

Taxinda had a Freudian slip on the AM show when asked about Kiwibuild. She said the Government was going to buy the houses, then changed that to build. There's a dollar in this for anyone wanting to sell some dross, sell it to the Government wrapped up in a Kiwibuild banner.

Yeah, cos that would lower prices.

So many face palms, its a wonder they haven't knocked themselves out.

What have they done? Frightened the C==P out of you property speculators!

Don’t beleive that was a policy, unless you can show me otherwise?????

So you admit that property investors are scared.

Maybe the amount of question marks used points to a level of anxiety?

I hope so.

Yep. Incoming flipper tax window extension to five years. Incoming restriction on overseas ownership. Ring fencing of tax loss. Anti slum lord legislation (minimum standards). Actively seeking an answer to deliver more low cost housing (no answer here yet). Moves to stop the education/immigration scam (reduced immigration). Professional investors with lots of equity are probably yawning. Ma and pa specuvestor land will definitively be worried..

The census questions about damp and mould in houses are certainly there to scope how bad the problems are with our housing. Slumlords and speculators (bag holders) will have a bit to deal with soon.

Yes slumlords are obviously a problem, but the real problem is the age and quality of the housing stock.

Its the owners I feel sorry about. Who will look after them?

First you buy a house then need to spend almost that again to retrofit insulation, double glazing, efficient heating, new roof, and then a repaint/reclad to ensure watertightness as well.

Solution: If we need workers/skills, then just issue Work Visa's .. 1 year renewable visas without a path to residency. Simple and works perfectly well in many countries. Limit property ownership only to citizens.

Agreed. Good solution.

And charge suitably - it is always easier to employ a foreigner than train a local.

According to
In 2017 More than 37,850 work visas under partnership were approved last year.