Population growth from migration is on the rise again with Statistics NZ estimating the net migration gain (long term arrivals minus long term departures) was 58,391 in the 12 months to the end of January.
That's up 10.4% compared to the net gain of 52,880 that occurred in the 12 months to January last year, and is getting close to the peak of 61,800 that occurred in the 12 months to January 2017.
Statistics NZ, which recently changed the way it measures migration flows, also revised upwards its previous estimate of the net gain for the 12 months to December from 48,300 to 56,200, suggesting its previous estimates were significantly understated, throwing some doubt on the reliability of the monthly figures when they are released.
Statistics NZ also estimated that the net gain of non-New Zealand citizens hit what is believed to be a record high of 66,116 in the year to January, which was up 14.2% compared to the previous 12 months.
But the overall net gain was reduced by a net loss of 7725 New Zealand citizens in the 12 months to the end of January.
Statistics NZ estimated the biggest net gain in the 12 months to January was from China and Hong Kong at 9546, closely followed by India 9412, South Africa 6672, and the Philippines 6386.
Of the 151,620 people who arrived in the country long term in the year to January, the biggest group by visa type were Australian and NZ citizens at 44,384 which was up 1.5% compared to the previous 12 months, followed by those on work visas 33,178 (+10.6%), visitor visas 32,219 (+21.5%), student visas 26,109 (+3.4%) and residency visas (-8.7%).