27 Feb 2009

Gain in long term migrants to NZ

5:16 pm on 27 February 2009

There has been a gain in the number of people returning to New Zealand or arriving to live in the country permanently.

Statistics New Zealand says there was a seasonally adjusted migration gain of 660 in January, compared to 270 in the previous month.

On an annual basis, there has been a net gain of 4,500 people, down 5% on the previous January year.

The December year was the lowest annual migration gain since 2001.

Meanwhile, the number of tourists to New Zealand fell 4% in January compared to the same month a year earlier.

For the January year, the number of visitors fell 1% to 2.45 million.

Rush to live in Australia levels off

The figures show many more New Zealanders are still leaving for Australia than are arriving home, however the rate of growth has levelled off.

While the migration loss to Australia rose from 28,600 to 35,400 in the course of last year, it has not risen at all over the past month.

Migration loss to Australia has been widely interpreted in the past as a negative verdict by people on conditions in New Zealand.