5 Mar 2012

January departure numbers up again

12:28 pm on 5 March 2012

The number of people leaving New Zealand permanently for overseas edged up again in January.

Official figures show 600 more people left than arrived during the month, up from 500 in December.

Radio New Zealand's economics correspondent says permanent departures have exceeded arrivals every month except one since earthquakes hit Christchurch in February last year.

Some 3134 more people left than arrived to live here permanently in the year to the end of January, the highest figure since 2001.

That exceeded the 1900 net loss of people from New Zealand over the whole of 2011.

The annual net loss of people to Australia hit a fresh all-time high in January of 38,100, up from nearly 37,000 in calender 2011.

However, ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley says there are signs the exodus to Australia is tapering off as jobs prospects across the Tasman weaken.

Visitor numbers

The number of short-term visitors to New Zealand hit an all-time high of nearly 267,000 for a January.

Travel from Hong Kong and China was boosted by an earlier Chinese New Year.

New Zealanders living in Australia returning home to visit also boosted short term arrivals in January.

New Zealanders visiting relatives in Australia contributed to the biggest January for short-term departures on record.