21 Jun 2011

More choosing to leave NZ permanently

1:09 pm on 21 June 2011

The number of people leaving New Zealand permanently is continuing to mount, driven by an exodus from earthquake-hit Christchurch.

Statistics New Zealand says 400 more people left than arrived in May, up from a net loss of 100 in the previous month.

It was the third consecutive month that permanent departures from New Zealand outweighed permanent arrivals.

That is the first time more people have left the country permanently than arrived for three months in a row since 2001.

Some 800 people from Christchurch said they were departing permanently in May, up from 500 in April.

Statistics New Zealand says 1300 more people have left Christchurch for overseas over the past three months since the 22 February quake than left over the same period a year ago.

The number of New Zealanders heading to Australia continues to grow.

Permanent departures outnumbered arrivals from across the Tasman by 3300 - the most for the month of May since records began.