Kiwis Overtake Poms To Lead Aussie Migration Stakes

Kiwis overtake Poms to lead Aussie migration stakes

Connie Levett
The Age (Melbourne)
September 25, 2007

THE Kiwis are coming. For the first time, New Zealand has overtaken the UK as the largest source country for permanent migrants to Australia, according to new immigration statistics.

Arrivals from New Zealand have jumped nearly 5000 in the past 12 months, up from 19,033 in 2005-06 to 23,906 in 2006-07, with Queensland as their destination of choice.

The former leaders in the permanent settler stakes, the UK, held steady at 23,223 arrivals, with WA and Queensland their preferred destinations.

Together, New Zealand and the UK accounted for 33.6 per cent of all settler arrivals.

The next largest pools of settlers reflected an emerging trend, with India, China and the Philippines making up the top five. India had 13,496 settlers arriving in 2006-07, up from 11,286 in 2005-06; China had 12,009, up from 10, 581; and the Philippines 5561, up from 4871.

Settlers are defined in the new Immigration Department publication, Settler Arrivals 1996-97 to 2006-07 Australian States and Territories, as people arriving in Australia with permanent visas regardless of stated intention of how long they intend to stay.

It also includes New Zealand citizens who indicate they intend to settle and overseas-born children of Australians.

The report shows that Victoria has improved the number of permanent settlers it attracts, up from 21.3 per cent in 1996-97 to 24.8 per cent in 2006-07. In contrast, the percentage of settlers opting for NSW has fallen from 43.4 per cent to 31.3 per cent over the same period. Queensland confirms its boom state reputation, with new arrivals up from 17.1 per cent in 1996-97 to 20.4 per cent this year.

Where once New Zealanders flocked to Bondi, the new figures show there is a new mecca: NSW attracted just 5240, while Queensland picked up 11,278 trans-Tasman arrivals. UK arrivals also preferred Queensland to NSW, by 5569 to 4192. But Western Australia picked up the biggest share, with 7286.

By contrast, Chinese, Indians and Filipinos favoured NSW, followed by Victoria with Queensland and Western Australia lagging far behind.

“The Howard Government believes that it is essential new migrants bring skills to contribute to the work force and a commitment to integrate into the community,” said Minister for Immigration Kevin Andrews.

“Our migration program is focused on skilled migration to ensure that new arrivals can join the work force and integrate quickly into Australian society.”