Record net migrant gain of 61,200 as more Kiwis come home and fewer leave

New Zealand has had a record net gain in migrants of 61,200 in the September year, driven mainly by both more kiwis coming home and fewer leaving for Australia.

The annual gain in migrants has been setting new records for the past 14 months, and there were 118,800 arrivals in the September year and 57,600 departures.

There was a net gain of 5,600 migrants in September, the second highest ever, with seasonally adjusted permanent and long-term monthly net migration having fluctuated around 5,100 over the past 13 months.

There was also a net gain of 100 migrants from Australia, the sixth month in a row to show a net gain, reflecting weaker economic conditions across the Tasman. Before April there hadn't been a net gain in migrants from Australia in over 20 years.

The fall in migrant departures was mainly due to fewer New Zealand citizens leaving for Australia. Departures of kiwis to Australia fell 15 percent to 21,500 in the September year, which is less than half the peak departures set in the December 2010 year.

Of the migrant arrivals in the September year, some 24,700 were from Australia, with two-thirds of those being New Zealand citizens returning home. Another 14,100 were from India, with three-quarters having student visas, 13,400 were from the UK, mostly on work visas, and 10,700 were from China, with about half having student visas.

All regions had a net gain of international migrants in the September, with most going to Auckland and then Canterbury. Half of all migrants with a stated address on their arrival card were moving to the Auckland region, which accounts for 34 percent of New Zealand's population.

The tourism boom is also soaring with overseas visitor arrivals setting hitting a highest-ever annual total of 3.04 million for the September year, up 9 percent on the prior year.

Australia was the biggest source of visitors at 1.3 million followed by China at 327,900 and the US at 237,300. Those three countries also recorded the biggest increases on last year with China up 85,100, Australia by 64,800 and the US up 23,600.

Visitor arrivals for September rose 12 percent to 217,000, with China recording the highest ever number of visitors for a September month, up 41 percent from the same month in 2014.


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