Record mi­gra­tion continues to in­crease


The num­ber of peo­ple mov­ing to New Zealand continues to break records, with net mi­gra­tion hit­ting 70,000 for the first time.

Fig­ures from Sta­tis­tics New Zealand showed that per­ma­nent and long term ar­rivals rose to 126,117 in the 12 months to Oc­to­ber 3. In the same pe­riod per­ma­nent and long term de­par­tures dropped to 55,835.

The net gain from mi­gra­tion was 70,282, sev­eral hun­dred higher than the record hit in the 12 months to Septem­ber 30.

Mi­gra­tion lev­els have been run­ning at record lev­els for about two years, with New Zealand wit­ness­ing the first sub­stan­tial net gain from across the Tas­man since the early 1990s mostly driven by the num­ber of Ki­wis choos­ing to re­turn home.

The record gains mean New Zealand’s pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing at the fastest rate in about 40 years.

Economists had ex­pected mi­gra­tion to fall from the mid­dle of 2016.

how­ever most are now in­creas­ing fore­casts for net mi­gra­tion over the medium term. Trea­sury has con­sis­tently fore­cast that mi­gra­tion gains will re­turn to a gain of 12,000.

In­fo­met­rics chief fore­caster Gareth Kier­nan said the en­tire coun­try felt like an eco­nomic ‘‘hotspot’’ this year as the pop­u­la­tion grew at its fastest rate since the mid-1970s.

A grow­ing pop­u­la­tion had wider im­pli­ca­tions than just adding heat to the prop­erty mar­ket, Kier­nan said.

‘‘One of the most sig­nif­i­cant ef­fects of an in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion is the rel­a­tive ease it pro­vides businesses for in­creas­ing their rev­enue or sales vol­umes.

‘‘Growth ar­eas can sus­tain more businesses and big­ger firms, even if the av­er­age spending by each in­di­vid­ual is not in­creas­ing.’’

Last week economists at West- pac said that while mi­gra­tion was ex­pected to re­main at strong lev­els, it could be im­pacted by the re­cent earth­quake, with a dip fol­low­ing the deadly Fe­bru­ary 2011 Christchurch earth­quake.

Mean­while the num­ber of vis­i­tors com­ing to New Zealand continues to break new records.

Sta­tis­tics New Zealand said vis­i­tor ar­rivals were 260,200 in Oc­to­ber 2016, a record for the month and 14 per cent higher than Oc­to­ber 2015.

Vis­i­tor ar­rivals for the past 12 months were also a record at 3.42 mil­lion, 12 per cent higher than the 12 months to Oc­to­ber 31.

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