21 May 2015

NZ migration hits new annual record

6:36 pm on 21 May 2015

The number of people coming to live in New Zealand has reached new record highs.

Official figures show the country had a net gain of 56,800 people in the year to April - well up from the 34,400 the previous year and and 4800 in the April 2013 year.

Auckland International Airport

Auckland International Airport Photo: RNZ

More people arrived from India, China and Britain. About three-quarters of migrants from India, and half of migrants from China, arrived on student visas.

Migrant arrivals were up 16 percent from the April 2014 year, while departures were down 11 percent.

For the April month, New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net gain - or more arrivals than departures - of 4700 people.

From September 2012 to October 2014, net migration was positive and mostly increasing, Statistics New Zealand says.

This was mainly due to fewer New Zealand citizens leaving for Australia, and more non-New Zealand citizens arriving.

New Zealand had a net inflow of 100 migrants from Australia in April 2015 - the first month New Zealand has had a net gain from Australia since 1991.

The net loss of 1900 people to Australia in the April 2015 year was the smallest since 1992.

Analysts say higher immigration should help alleviate skill shortages but also put more pressure on housing markets.

High numbers of Indian students have helped drive the rise in people migrating here.

The number of migrants arriving on student visas from India was up 5200 in the year to April.

Richard Goodall from the Auckland Institute of Studies said most tertiary students there were from India, whereas until recently most came from China.

Nationwide, more than twice as many people arrived on student visas (8,500) than people on work visas (3,900) in the year to April.

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