Global financial difficulties are reducing the number of people immigrating to New Zealand.
The Labour & Immigration Research Centre has found just over 40,000 people were approved for residence in the year to June.
That was below the intended range of 45,000 - 50,000 people.
The centre says potential migrants are less willing and able to migrate, while fewer skilled jobs have been available in New Zealand.
But it says the labour market is improving and the unemployment rate is expected to fall to 5.3% by 2013, which will increase immigration again.