5 Feb 2011

Family migrants from China increase

6:11 am on 5 February 2011

More than 1200 people aged over 50 migrated here from China in the past year, but the number of Chinese workers moving to New Zealand has fallen.

Figures from the Department of Labour show China is one of the largest sources of family-sponsored immigration.

But work visa approvals dropped from a peak of more than 15,000 in 2008 to almost 11,000 in 2010.

Immigration New Zealand says temporary workers and parents coming into the country are two very separate issues.

It says more older people are coming in to the country from China. Last year saw 1289 people who were 50 or over, enter.

Skilled migrants who come to New Zealand can generally after three years sponsor their parents to come to New Zealand.

Immigration NZ says China is one of the main source countries for skilled migrants, and it is not surprising given the one child policy in China for skilled Chinese immigrants to look to sponsor their parents.

Auckland Chinese Association chairman Kai Luey, says reuniting families in this country gives people a more settled life.

Immigration NZ says the trend of parents from China coming into New Zealand is not new, and it's a trend expected to continue.