Immigration still climbing
The New Zealand Herald
Saturday February 03, 2007
By Brian Fallow
The net inflow of migrants was still running strong in December with a gain of 1160 pushing the total for the whole of 2006 to 14,610, figures from Statistics New Zealand show.
It continues the recovery in net immigration since the annual figure bottomed-out around 6000 in October 2005. The trend has been driven by increasing arrivals.
Departures have fallen too, but gradually.
During 2006 there were 82,700 permanent and log-term arrivals – people declaring in their airport arrival cards that they intended to stay for a year or more – an increase of 5 per cent on 2005.
The number of permanent and long-term departures – those leaving for at least a year – fell to 68,100, 5 per cent fewer than in 2005.
The 47,600 New Zealand citizens leaving the country was down 1600 from 2005 levels, while the number of returning Kiwis was almost unchanged.
The main sources of immigrants were Britain (22,700) and Australia (13,300).
The net inflow of 14,610 last year was more than the 13,700 the Reserve Bank had forecast in their December monetary policy statement.
“The current level of net migration will provide further support to the housing market and retail spending – both of which the Reserve Bank wants to see moderate,” ANZ National Bank chief economist Cameron Bagrie said.
Around 77 per cent of the net inflow of people last year were of working age, which would expand the workforce and alleviate labour shortages, he said.