Net migration down 12.2% in year to August compared to previous year and continuing to fall

Net migration down 12.2% in year to August compared to previous year and continuing to fall

Annual population growth from migration has dropped back to its lowest level since 2015.

The latest figures from Statistics NZ show there was a net gain of 63,288 migrants in the 12 months to August, the lowest it has been for that 12 month period since 2015.

That compares with a net gain of 72,072 in the 12 months to August last year.

And the figures suggest the numbers are continuing to fall, with the net gain of 4629 in the month of August the lowest it has been for August since 2013.

In the 12 months to August there were 129,088 permanent or long term arrivals, which was down 2.3% compared to the previous 12 months, and 65,800 permanent and long term departures, which was up 9.5% compared to the previous 12 months.

That provided a net gain of 63,288, which was down 8784 (-12.2%) compared to a year earlier.

There was a net loss of 2430 New Zealand citizens in the year to August, as more New Zealanders left for overseas than arrived back after an extended stay, and a net gain of 65,718 citizens of other countries.

China provided the biggest net gain in the year to August, followed by India, South Africa, the UK and the Philippines.

The biggest two way migration traffic is with Australia, although travel in both directions is fairly well balanced, with 25,449 people leaving this country for Australia in the year to August, while 24,233 arrived here from across the ditch, leaving a net loss 1216 people to Australia in the year to August.

Of the 129,088 people who arrived in this country on a permanent or long term basis in the 12 months to August, 46,836 were on work visas, 38,151 were NZ or Australian citizens (who do not require visas), 23,394 were on student visas and 13,306 were on residency visas.

Auckland remains the main destination for migrants with a net gain of at least 32,095 in the 12 months to August,

That was down compared to Auckland's net gain of 36,796 in the previous 12 months and 32,187 in the 12 months to August 2016.

However many migrants to not state their intended detination when they arrive in this country, which means Auckland's total propulation gain from migration in the 12 months to August 2018 was probably closer to 38,000.

Net long term migration

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These numbers are just headcounts of first-time arrivers. The facts about our residence visa issuance is rather unnerving when you consider the number of people being brought permanently into our already stretched public infrastructure. I ran some numbers on permanent visas in other developed countries to get some perspective and this is what I found:

Number of permanent visas issued per 1000 residents in 2017 among major countries:
- USA: 1.69 (~550k visas issued)
- Canada: 2.39 (~86k visas issued)
- United Kingdom: 1.07 to non-EEA nationals, 2.16 to EEA nationals
- Australia: 6.5 (~165k visas issued)
- New Zealand: 8.12 (~38k visas issued)

Not at all surprising when we hear that one-in-four NZ citizen moving to Australia in recent times was born outside NZ.

Sadly we are to loose departure cards, and despite Statistics making estimates, immigration and emigration data in future will be neither as current nor as reliable.

Bit like HNZ and the billions borrowed off-account - seems that that current mantra is 'find a dusty old carpet in the corner of a dark scullery (Freudian auto-suggested word from Dr G there - Skulkery, heh) at the back of the House, and Sweep all the Bad News under it'....


Aussie may get grumpy and slam the back door in our face at those levels!


Who can blame them. We would have nobody to blame but ourselves. They have been warning our politicians about this for years.

The Aussies sadly thought that their GDP growth was because the were working their minerals hard...... that collapsed when the Chinese could get the same stuff from Africa for a lot less money 10 years ago....

Then they pumped their economy with people, $19,000,000 in 2000 to nearly $27,000,000... GDP kept growing, as did debt levels.....traffic, pressure on school places, hospitals.... good old GDP growth from adding almost 50% to your populous.... They'll need another 20 million to get over their debt crisis now, does that make life any better - Only for the stupidly indebted and the businesses that sell stuff to more people... those buggers get to breathe still in an air con limo to work each day, everyone else will get stuck in traffic and renting space.. .

What kind of future do we want in NZ? Aussie is a great example of what we could decide not to follow.

Same stupid ponzie scheme that National ran in NZ. To be fair though, it was the previous Labour government that started it and this government is barely making a half hearted effort to stop it. The immigration figures have only slightly changed and as one of the postings above points out our immigration levels are still off the planet when compared with other countries, many of whom believe that their levels are far too high.

Well done Advisor

Let's not forget the re-population rate.. Western world 1.6 children every 40 years and elsewhere 4 or five kids every 25 years.. It doesn't take long to change the voting block.


Although the rate of immigration is falling, 4629 for August is a projected annual rate of 55,500.
Sufficient to continue to put pressure on the housing market, and more housing required than provided by KiiwiBuild,

Continuing high immigration rates and low interest rates are providing continuing support for the housing market in the short to medium term. However, significant changes in both immigration and interest rates in the medium to longer term could provide a perfect storm for what is historically over-priced housing.

So to be prudent, an urgent need to pay down the mortgage principal while (possibly the later part) of the summer continues.


Don't worry though they're all high quality skilled rocket surgeons. They'd never be dishonest on their their visa applications by bribing other dishonest immigrants for fake jobs....

You can't trust anything these days. Fake news, fake jobs, fake GDP growth. I was even tricked into eating fake meat at a catered lunch. I'll bet it was one of those skilled chefs that made the food.

Ummm a fake chef perhaps? Formally qualified as an Uber Manager tho!

I've really enjoyed my time here ladies and gents but sod it, I'm off!

Sad ter see ya go, Nic. But mayhap your experience in shifting through the wreckage of failed financial institutions might come in handy here, and even in the near future if the DGM's are right no, too many connotations that word - Correct?

Great ! No offence

None taken. But on second thoughts I think I'll stay and watch what unfolds/unravels.

Glad to hear it. We have lost a lot of good commenters over the years.


You find out who your friends are when you make a jest of heading off. Do you think that it's all part of an evil PRC plan Yvil? Drown em with debt and make the breeding youth depart. What did Edward the Longshanks suggest be done with the Scots?


Still a heck of a lot of people. August's additions alone are going to need 1,700 houses. Bit more than the kiwibuild tally.

But PT's marketing working group can't just call it 'ImmigrantBuild' or 'ForeignBuild' that doesn't roll off the tongue. Maybe 'GlobalBuild' would work but it wouldn't reflect the Kiwi nature of the crappy building materials.


Labour/NZF you are a joke. We've already had enough immigration. I can't go anywhere without hearing Chinese and the level of immigrant perpetrated sexual crime has risen in recent years. These groups stick to their own language, neighborhood, shops and hire their own people. Next step will be identity politics since National were careless enough to allow non-citizens to vote and be MPs.

Besides the social ramifications of the population being culturally and ethnically replaced there is also little economic benefit to immigration. Fake business schools, taxi drivers and illegally run Burger Kings are not making the pie bigger. Housing expenses are preventing our own people from having kids and driving them overseas. Our roads, schools, police and hospitals are full.

Would China ever be stupid enough to allow their country to be 20% Kiwi owned and occupied with in a few decades? I guess our politicians are smarter though we must achieve the most 'growth' in the election cycle at all costs. Selling the family silverware and sending the wife to work at the brothel might increase the family 'GDP' but when you're not getting paid much it's more akin to cuckoldry. The only meaningful change Labour have bought in is closing the curtain on departure cards. No brain drain, nothing to see here.

And no thanks to refugees unless they respect our culture like South African farmers. That last lot Helen bought in from Somalia were a bunch of criminals.

I am afraid that NZ as a country needs to learn to integrate into a world headed by China at some stage.


And China needs to be an open democracy to become a head of anything.


I think China will have bigger problems to deal with at home before it's ready to lead anything on the international stage, lasting relationships are based on win/win deals. Not I win, you get screwed, which has essentially been the Chinese modus operandi thus far. We're top of the 'screwed' category at present.

Oh, you're still here

Got to stay Fella, I have been tasked with a duty to maintain the ratio of comments that are in New Zealanders best interests and not the PRC. .

Just above you comment that you are off

You don't understand irony, sarcasm or jest... wasn't part of the programming I guess.....

Wow it's hard to believe China still provided the biggest net gain in the year to August...I'm flabbergasted.

Presumably quite a few of them are students


apprentice migrants

Yes net immigration is down but look at the reason more closely, quoting:

"There was a net loss of 2430 New Zealand citizens in the year to August, as more New Zealanders left for overseas than arrived back after an extended stay, and a net gain of 65,718 citizens of other countries"

Yeah no need to put in immigration control measures, just kill the business confidence and that will stop them coming ! if they still insist tell them we have no houses left to live in.

What is often forgotten is how low residence visas are as a proportion of total permanent / long term arrivals.
In the year to August 2018, there were 129,000 permanent / long term arrivals. Only 13,306 of those were for residence visas. A large proportion were work visas (46,836) or student visas (23,394).
This disaggregate data is critical when trying to understand the impact of this migration on housing. My central thesis being that the impact is not nearly as great as the headline, aggregate number might suggest.

The 13k arriving on residence visas were either those who were awarded visas while offshore or those on resident visas returning to NZ after a brief stint overseas. You underestimate the number of students who would automatically move on to work visas (current students will be given a 3 year work visa thanks to ILG's recent changes).
Don't forget that more than 80% of those getting resident permits are already in NZ, most in FT employment. So those arriving now on temp visas may not leave for a very long time.


Quote: Tony Abbott, a leading voice in the Conservative party who served as prime minister from 2013 to 2015, is advocating a more restrictive approach. He says it’s an “iron law of economics” that more supply cuts price, meaning that more new Australians leads to weak wage growth. Similarly, he says, higher demand boosts price, hence the negative impact on housing affordability.
“Plainly, more people mean more pressure on roads and public transport, as anyone trying to move around Sydney and Melbourne knows,” wrote Abbott in an opinion article published in the Australian newspaper on July 27. “We owe it to the people already here to scale back the rate of immigration considerably.”


""more New Zealanders left for overseas than arrived"". Can you blame them?

Pity this ends up as a discussion about quantity (although the 1st comment by Advisor is significant) when what really matters is quality. What is often forgotten is that only a minority of immigrants are primary skilled (although to be fair many of the partners are highly talented too - ref my wife for example) and the one in three who are 'skilled' are often possessors of bogus skills (Uber drivers with fancy degrees) or just outright dishonest - just this week we had the Indian woman who had 'bought' her job twice and a Filipino spokesman explaining how families were spending all their savings to get a child to study at a NZ PTE because of the promise of residency.


The abysmal quality of a significant number of migrants (not all, coming from an ex-migrant) is a huge problem. The biggest issue with migration in NZ is that most come here solely for landing permanent residence, no career motivation or aspiration whatsoever. Most of them surprising end up getting what they crave for thanks to employers ready to scam the authorities and exploit the vulnerable workers.
The ones who do have a set of career goals in mind feel cheated with the limited growth opportunities NZ has to offer and end up leaving.
It is safe to say that unskilled migrants along with those hiring them are crowding out the talented expats and locals, who are then forced to move to other countries.

Great analysis. The bad are crowding out the good.

Heh - Gresham's Law....jinked sideways....

Immigration scams making news in the mainstream now -

A frightening link that makes me rather ashamed to be an immigrant Kiwi. Quote: "" the schemes are endemic and Immigration New Zealand is doing little to stop them. An immigration lawyer of two decades' experience, Alistair McClymont, guesses about a third of his clients are paying their employers in some form for jobs ""

At least our current minister admits there is a problem and that is a great step forward. But we have read about his department not having the funds to deport overstayers so clearly even a labour govt is unwilling to tackle dishonest companies competing with our honest companies and happy to turn a blind eye to worker exploitation (rather a racist blind eye - if it wasn't foreigners they would be taking serious action).

Solution is not too dificult: increase visa charges until INZ can afford to pay for an increase in the labour inspectorate; increase the base wage for skilled immigration - if a 'chef' is earning below the average wage then he/she is not really a skilled chef. If an immigrant computer project leader is only earning $100k pa (less than the Auckland council average for their computer department) then he may be taking a pay cut to get residency but at least we end up with a decent computer professional - it is the immigrant who arrives as a student and becomes a IT hardware repairer apparently earning about $50k but probably paying for the job that we need to worry about. These are the ones importing 3rd world wages to NZ.

Work, student and resident visas in Australia cost up to 3 times more than the same in NZ.
The concerning question is - Is MBIE afraid that hiking visa costs will change peoples' minds on coming to NZ and they will go elsewhere instead? Are potential NZ migrants so cheap and price sensitive that they base their moving decisions on a few hundred dollars?

for me to get a spousal visa to the UK costs me over £2500. It lasts 3 years and then I have to reapply for another 3(another £2500), then Im eligible to pay for citizenship.

I think PNG to NZ was cheaper for my wife and her kids but that was 15 years ago. I reckon you got a bargain. Note that Indian lady earlier this week paid over $30k to scammers for pseudo-jobs just to qualify for residency. Some countries do sell residency/citizenship with the going price relating to the number of countries a citizen can visit without applying for a visa. Vague memory that St Vincent charged about 2 million. Certainly NZ sell residency too cheap. Why not a big charge that gets paid by the employer and is partially refunded from a fraction of the IRD income taxes over the next few years.

problem is I think the UK should pay me, Im a bargain ;-)

Judging by your contributions you are bright and capable. Clearly worth any UK employer paying 5,000 UK pounds to get your services. When I worked in PNG (just a work visa - no chance of citizenship or residency) my employer paid the govt a sum for my visa that was roughly equal to the annual wages of two teachers in PNG.

The UK system is a bigger sham than here Andrewj.

Blocks on sensible needs for talent and then open door to anything else. A need for 'Bengal curry chefs' are on the list of UK essential migrants.. Don't get me wrong I love a Lamb Bhoona as much as the next POM but I still don't understand why we can't train POM's to add spices to lamb?

My wife who is a 6th generation kiwi went through a right rigmarole to get UK citizenship. We did three lots of £2500 for extensions and then £1000 for final citizenship test. Then we went to the citizenship ceremony and of 80 people that were being granted citizenship, only her and an American lass could speak English. I never worked out how they all were able to pass the citizenship tests that my wife had actually studied for and were all set in English.

A lot of people obviously knew how to work system better than we did.


Tip of the iceberg.

Imagine the numbers given the size of the rest of the fast food industry;

Time that all jobs in the retail and hospitality industries were taken off the "skills" list.


I am an immigrant myself but I cannot figure out why on earth NZ needs immigrants to work for Burger King? if burger king cannot find any locals to work there, then let BK close down its restaurant. No one will die because there are less number of BKs around, on the contrary some may live longer.

NZ immigration does need a system to determine what businesses are vital to NZ economy and prosperity and allow them to employ people from offshore if skilled people cannot be found in NZ. NZ will be fine without BK, McDonald and Uber. I cannot believe the number of chefs and retail managers that have been granted work visas over the past 10 years. This is simply crazy


I'm guessing 90% of them were scams - people paying to get those job offers. And the National government, as well as INZ knew all along we didn't have any "skills" shortages in these areas... our immigration system is itself a scam/joke, there are no skills needed to do any of these jobs.

It's destroying any remaining genuine businesses in the hospitality, services and retail sectors. They can't compete with scammers whose real income is off-the-books bribes and slave labour.

National absolutely knew about this, but hollowed out the investigative capacity at Immigration.


I read the story on stuff. Terrible really. But to be fair these scammers exist because there are people (such as the victims in the story) who are happy to resort to corrupt methods to achieve what they want. Consequently, i cannot feel sympathy for those who tried to cheat the system but instead where cheated by people who they knew to be criminals from the get go.

I'm sure I am not the only one who has noticed the appearance of one particular surname in so many of these cases.

Permanent Residency stats from
2016/17 47,684
2017/18 37,948
2018/19 5,698 for July and August. Equivalent to 34,188 pa.

But the sequence of significance for immigration is: cheating/exploitation, quality, quantity. Mr Lees-Galloway seems to be moving in the right direction; he could well be the most important factor in Labour being re-elected. But he has to get rid of the rorts.

It really is concerning how this country is effectively being down trousered by these dodgy immigrant scamsters and why isn't our government doing anything to protect the reputation of the country and its residents?

Because like many in Tony Blair's govt in the UK they would rather permit crimes to persist than risk being accused of racism. If you have a really strong stomach read the wikipedia page about the murder of the beautiful little girl Victoria Climbie and near the bottom this quote ""He said that the fear of being accused of racism may have led to the inaction.""
Thankfully in NZ we have little to compare with this case; we do have dreadful child abuse (Kahui twins, etc) but not the layer apon layer apon layer of incompetance. I recommend not reading the Wikipedia article because I have tears dropping on my keyboard..

Because, just as in other jurisdictions, the incoming hordes tend to reliably Vote Left, Especially with a bit of Schooling. It's our local variation on the US meme of 'vote early and vote often' - ours is more like 'vote for the party with the most ex-refugees in it...and the kindest words about 'em'

Which was the reason that Tony Blair opened the doors in the UK.. Come on in and take advantage of 'Beveridge' Economics. The credit crunch changed the party but not the politics, which is why the brexit vote occurred.. However despite the Brexit vote, 2 years later the press headlines have merely masked the continuation of poor immigration policy as the UK continues to be swamped with people, not just from Europe but from everywhere. Quality of life deteriorating by the day. More time in traffic, more time trying to park the car, more pain in the arse... (I trivialise it a bit)

Here's the difference between the UK and NZ.. In many respects, there is none, the daft obsession with GDP rather than other factors for a good life has led to the abuse of immigration for GDP headlines. The difference however is that in the UK it has gone too far and believe me qulity of life will never recover Hospitals, schools, infrastructure, communities are all walking a tightrope that will break.. the traffic will always be bad, the politics will always be fragmented by a cacophony of competing voices and nothing will ever be achieved. In New Zealand there is a chance to turn it around still, but time is running out.

Bizarrely it was a labour government that won the election on the basis of reducing immigration... immigrants tend to vote labour and yet the BLSH's, TTP's, Boatman's etc. don't seem to get that the last vote turned largely because of a new immigrant voting base, marginalised kiwis and the young and just as importantly the massive disaffection of the young... There will be only one more chance for a National government again and that is possibly at the next election and if their supporters seriously want, high immigration, cheap labour, oversees buyers, fraud etc etc, that will be their last time in power. Because while the immigrants will come to work for another dodgy immigrant who has brought them in..... The minute there is an alternative they'll use their new found powers of being able to vote for change.

Time for the Nats supporters to wake up and realise that they can't have it both ways.... House prices fall now with more immigration control, which is necessary... or we have higher house prices for a little while longer and then no chance of the Nat's ever getting back in... Prices then fall regardless because money goes where it is a good place to live well.

I think it all goes back to the first world war.

The problem is since then we have a hundred years of a credit based monetary system that has turned into a fraud, it's dragged consumption from the future and enslaved us to the alter of fiat money. It's debt thats going to hurt the UK and everyone else that gets in the way.

You are my favourite of all commentators Andrewj and I would love to share a weekend chewing the cud over a couple, maybe more than a couple of very good bottles of wine

it goes far beyond the first world war.

Hegemony is the key to all thoughts, each hegemonic power rules the next economic epoch because of the advantages they had, which gave them the power to win at war...... The Germans twice thought they were challengers but lost to war... who really won the first two world wars? America, both of them.

Who won the Franco, Prussian War...1870's - Britain - it was the last war that the Brits really won.

Who won the American Civil war... The British, they sold most of the armoury and supplies.

Who won the Napoleonic War, - The British

Before then

The Dutch and mercatalism had the French and Brits fighting in America while they profited from the arms sales.....

What helps a hegemonic power. Cheap, ideally slave labour with no voice and no vote.... how long can china sustain no vote and no voice before it implodes.

You can trace hegemonic powers and cheap/slave labour all the way back to Rome, further to Egypt and beyond... Information and its spread will curtail Chinese ambitions of being a hegemonic power because the 'slaves' will revolt as the slaves that have powered their cheap labour advantages were actually 'natural born Chinese' and not added by conquest. That's the next thing... can they replace those slaves with economic colonies or other maintain their advantage..

Looking forward to hearing Shoreman's views on hegemony...

Looking forward to hearing Shoreman's views on hegemony...

Europe/UK went into the first world war using 2 thousand barrels of oil a day and finished it using over a million, ( from memory) Germany started WW1 with a handful of planes and ended with 14,000. Venezuela supplied most of the oil but Britain by then was setting up British petroleum, well aware of the need to run ships on oil and the need for a reliable supply, Iran was in the spotlight and the middle east was partitioned around oil. Syria/Lebanon even had a christian majority. The USA started the war with a couple of thousand millionaires and ended with 23,000.
The UK started the war with an empire and ended with a whimper, billions in hock to the USA, they started with reserves of around £750 million between the UK and France, which they thought was enough for a short war and ended up owing the USA £23 billion. The USA joined in, instead of ending the trench war stalemate with some form of peace agreement, the USA poured in troops and the war went on and on with millions more dead and countries ruined. Even China supplied hundreds of thousand of men to help Britain in the war effort.

I still think WW1 was when society cracked, soldiers were sent over the top to die and the upperclass has never been forgiven, even within the upperclass, the resentment still runs deep. The desire to self destruct is strong.

By the end of the war 25 thousand men in the UK were institutionalised with mental injuries.

Please feel free to correct me, facts get a bit muddled.

This is my wife's family, down his brothers line. When I talked to my wife's grandmother she talked and talked of her brothers who died in WW1. There must have been a lot of resentment, why would you let men like this go over the top into a machine gun?

This one she remembers as the uncle who dropped a magnet on her foot at her 5th birthday party.

I have been reading through family Army records and personal letters to get a sense of it. I guess you had to be there to understand the whole picture. I’ve been in the military. I wouldn’t let my children be drafted into a war I didn’t believe in as ultimately you are cannon fodder and no point dying for someone else’s cause.

They never expected a war of attrition - both sides assumed some smart tactics with a few cavalry charges and it would be over before Xmas. However it was trench warfare which was a style of warfare developed during the American civil war but based on US military studying Maori tactics.

'A war you didn't believe in'! Very few gave it any consideration in 1914; were there more concentious objecters in WW2? Look at the war memorials in NZ for the Maori wars with their inscriptions praising the govt military and the 'friendly natives' and giving no respect to the enemy. It is fortunate these memorials still exist to show how people used to think and hopefully educate us that our own beliefs may be suspect when judged in the future..

Still way too many immigrants allowed in and too many low quality skills.. Its all been said on the comments above.
I thought we voted for a reduction... obviously not, as immigration is the backbone of our economy.

It is to the detriment of my quality of life that they allow this level of immigration.. selfish ..yes...
why do people want to leave China and India? Too many people...

My only consolation for these disastrous policy's, is that one day all the cheerleaders for this influx of humanity will actually have to look them in the eyes.

Rant over and back to work..

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