Migration at record levels - again

3:55 pm on 21 October 2015

The record influx of immigrants and tourists shows no sign of slowing.

Official figures show a net gain of 61,200 permanent and long term migrants in the year to September, the 14th consecutive month at a record level.

A woman with a backpack pulls a suitcase through an airport.

Photo: 123RF

The immigration numbers were dominated by returning New Zealanders, but there were also high numbers of students from India and China, and fewer locals left the country.

India contributed 12,900 to the net gain, China 8,500, the Philippines 4,700, and the United Kingdom 3,700.

In the year to September, there were 118,900 migrant arrivals and 57,600 migrant departures.

Migrant arrivals included:

  • 24,700 from Australia, with two-thirds being New Zealand citizens
  • 14,100 from India, with three-quarters having student visas
  • 13,400 from the United Kingdom, with most having work visas or New Zealand citizenship
  • 10,700 from China, with about half having student visas.

ASB senior economist Chris Tennent-Brown said the labour market appeared to be more healthy in New Zealand than many other countries.

"That difference between the New Zealand labour market over the past year, which has gone pretty well, and some of the labour markets we're seeing offshore is a real big factor here when we look at those inflows and where people are coming from," he said.

Meanwhile, the number of foreign visitors on short trips also hit a record last month, with more than 3 million tourists.

And the Rugby World Cup has driven a strong rise in the number of New Zealanders holidaying in Britain.