New Zealand Immigration Statistics Released

New Zealand immigration statistics released
11 January 2007

New Zealand's Department of Labour has released a report, “Migration Trends 2005/06,” detailing immigration statistics from the previous year. The report is produced annually to provide information about trends in temporary and permanent migration to New Zealand.

Citizens of the United Kingdom are a prominent demographic, as reported in earlier stories about Brits emigrating to New Zealand and Australia.

While Australian nationals were the largest group of temporary entrants to New Zealand, UK nationals make up the largest portion of permanent residency approvals in 2005-2006, followed by Chinese. Permanent residency figures have increased overall in recent years, from over 30,000 in 1996-1997 to 51,236 in this year's report.

Of those approved for permanent residency, most were in the Skilled Migrant and Business categories. 87% of this group had previously held a temporary visitor visa, student visa, or work permit.

In the Skilled Migrant Category, the UK was the largest source at 41%, a 10% increase over the previous year. 12% came from South Africa and 11% from China.

The number of work permits issued increased by 21% over the previous year. 99,674 people were allowed to immigrate into New Zealand to work, a 21% increase over the previous year. Of these, 18,659 UK applicants were granted work permits.

The increase in work permits was in part a result of expansions to the Working Holiday scheme and the new Work to Residence policies.

The New Zealand government believes the latest figures can be attributed to immigration policies that attract skilled workers to alleviate shortages.