Record number leave to live in Australia

New Zealand had a net migration loss for a third consecutive month as large numbers of people continue to head to Australia to live.

Net outflow of 3300 to Australia in May
The net outflow of 3300 migrants to Australia last month was up from 1700 in May 2010, and higher than the previous May month record net outflow of 2900 in 1979, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said today.

The lure of Australia has combined with flight from earthquake-damaged Christchurch to accelerate the trend.

Economists pointed out that the flow of people out of Christchurch could pick up pace as more insurance payouts are made.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, a net outflow of 400 migrants was recorded in May.

Numbers leaving had been higher than those arriving since March when there was a jump in departures from Christchurch following the February earthquake.

Unadjusted, permanent and long term departures outnumbered arrivals by 2100 last month, compared to 1300 more departures than arrivals in May 2010.

The main contributor to the higher net outflow was 1300 more departures of New Zealand citizens to Australia. That was partly offset by 500 more arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens, SNZ said.

More leave Christchurch
Permanent and long term departures departures (PLT) of Christchurch residents numbered 800 in May, up from 500 in May 2010, while PLT arrivals into the city decreased from 400 to 300 over the same period.

Between the February 22 earthquake and the end of May, there had been 1300 more departures from Christchurch and 400 fewer arrivals into that city, compared with the same period in 2010.

The net migration gain of 4600 in the May year was below the annual average gain for the December years from 1991 to 2010 of 12,000.

The net PLT outflow to Australia was 28,600 in the May year, up from the 15,200 in the May 2010 year but under the 30,500 in 2009, SNZ said.

The latest net outflow resulted from 43,800 departures to Australia being partly offset by 15,200 arrivals from Australia. In both directions, most migrants were New Zealand citizens.

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